Category: articles I’ve written for money

Top Wine and Cheesecake Pairings for the Holiday Season




Pairing desserts with wine isn’t easy, but when it’s done well, this combination can be a deliciously decadent treat that can make your holiday party or family gathering an instant success.

A general rule for finding the right wine to complement a cheesecake is to make sure the wine is a bit sweeter than the dessert in most cases, but not in all. Sometimes a crisp, dry wine can be just the thing to offset a particularly sugary flavor in the best way possible. As with pairing drinks and other foods, when pairing wine with desserts, it’s important to strike a balance between acidity and sweetness.


Below is a list of 8 flavored cheesecakes and complementary wines you might serve to bring out the best in both:


  1. Classic Cheesecake—

The rich, creamy texture of a plain cheesecake works great with sparkling wines, champagne or nice sauternes.

Depending on the flavors you choose to add to your cheesecake, such as different types of fruits, you may want to go in a different direction with your beverage, but with a plain cheesecake, a simple wine is a great complement to the classic flavor.


  1. Apricot-Glazed Cheesecake—

An orange muscat wine would be a lively pairing with any dessert featuring apricots, as the citrus can brighten the potentially heavy honey-like qualities of the glaze, as well as enhancing the fruitiness of the apricots.


  1. Chocolate Cheesecake—

A vintage port is the go-to wine for any chocolate and vino partnership, but don’t write off the lighter reds, as a late harvest zinfandel or cabernet sauvignon can also serve as a good match.

Generally, as the desserts get darker and richer, so do the wines, and with something as light as a chocolate-flavored cheesecake, you can get away with a lighter wine.


  1. Caramel/Turtle Cheesecake—

To properly balance the buttery decadence of caramel, a red wine is definitely your number one choice.

A pinot noir or nice shiraz would be light and sweet, allowing the rich caramel to shine while still keeping the balance between acid and sugar.


  1. Pumpkin Cheesecake—

Popular around the holidays, the spicy, cinnamon notes of a pumpkin cheesecake are beautifully brought out by a white wine, pink champagne, or a riesling, which can soften the spiciness, allowing the flavors to be appreciated without overpowering the taste buds.

White wine, pink champagne or a riesling will also go well with a slice of pumpkin pie.


  1. Strawberry/Blueberry/Raspberry Cheesecake—

A light sparkling white wine, such as a moscato d’asti will enhance the sweet and dynamic notes of the berries on your cheesecake, but if you’d prefer something less sweet, a light rosé will work as well.


  1. Almond, Pecan or Walnut Cheesecake—

If your cheesecake recipe involves nuts, or perhaps a glaze involving fruit and nuts, remember that nuts pair wonderfully with a light madeira or a sherry with nutty undertones.

If the cheesecake’s nutty glaze involves apples, a pinot gris, blueberry or even an anjou wine can also be a good match.


  1. Lemon/Key Lime Cheesecake—

As with the apricots, citrus fruits are also best served with a muscat, sparkling white wine, or champagne to keep the flavors light and refreshing.

Remember; bubbles bring out the fresh, bright flavors and zing of all things citrus.


Don’t forget that pairing desserts like cheesecakes with wine doesn’t have to be an occasional after-dinner activity; you can even have a “wine and cheesecake” theme party to try new wines and desserts with your friends. With the holidays coming up, you can use the helpful wine and cheesecake pairing tips above to plan a perfect party with pals or a family get-together full of sweetness, drinks and delicious desserts.

Vet Exam Etiquette: 5 Tips to Keep Pets Calm




When taken out of their usual environment, driven to a new place, and then handled by a stranger, most creatures—even humans—may become a bit agitated or frightened. Because we don’t speak dog or cat well enough to explain to our fuzzy family members what’s happening, a trip to the veterinarian’s office for an exam can be quite a harrowing experience.

Fortunately, there are ways we can prepare our pets for vet visits that will take much of the stress out of the experience for them, making life easier for everyone involved. Below are 5 tips any pet owner can use to keep cats and dogs calmer during vet exams:


  1. Demystify the Pet Carrier—

For cats and smaller dogs that must ride in a carrier for car trips, much of the tension they’re feeling is because they’ve suddenly been placed into an unknown and highly restrictive new environment. For free-roaming animals, being shoved into a small cage can be a very scary experience.

To take the fear out of the crate, place the carrier inside the home for weeks before the vet exam with the door open. Place soft blankets, treats and favorite toys inside, and feed the pet in the crate once they realize nothing bad is going to happen.

Your goal is to make the pet crate a safe and friendly little room they will feel comforted by (rather than frightened of) when exam day arrives.


  1. Go to a Happy Place—

Once smaller animals are reassured enough by the carrier to be moved, take a trip to the vet with them on a day they don’t have an exam. (If you have a larger dog that doesn’t ride in a crate, but is comfortable in the car, take them to the vet on non-exam days as well.)

Go into the vet’s office and allow your cat or dog to become familiar with their surroundings. Reward them with treats and introduce them to staff members if they have a moment so they won’t be complete strangers the next time you visit.

By soothing your pets and giving them treats at these non-invasive visits, you will be creating positive associations for them that will make them less fearful during the actual exam.


  1. Don’t Book During Busy Times—

If you have the wiggle room in your life and work schedule to set up exams during slow periods at the vet’s office, this is highly recommended for those with anxious animals.

Booking during off-hours will ensure the office is as quiet as possible for your exam, and that your visit proceeds quickly and efficiently.


  1. Soft is Soothing—

Give your pet a soft blanket to lie on in the pet carrier to make them feel more relaxed and at-home. Pets have excellent senses of smell, and sometimes the scent of a familiar place can soothe.

Be sure to pull the blanket out during the exam and cover the hard surface of the table, as this will make dogs feel less like they are slipping, and give cats something to grab onto with their claws for security.


  1. Distractions are Delightful—

Your vet will really appreciate your assistance during the actual examination, so if you can bring things to distract your cat or dog while they’re being inspected and manipulated, this is highly recommended.

Dogs are often easily distracted by food, so consider bringing a treat or new toy to introduce that will really captivate them. Cats can be harder to distract, so treats will need to be novel enough to keep their interest. Favorite toys are also great choices for diverting attention, such as feathers and catnip mice.

If your cat likes to hide under blankets or feels safer inside the carrier, many vets will work around these minor obstructions if it keeps kitties calmer.

By helping your pet to remain relaxed at the vet, you are not only making sure they have a less anxious visit to the pet doctor; you are making the experience better for yourself, your veterinarian and staff, as well as for the other pet owners waiting in the reception area. Use the tips above to give your beloved cat or dog the most pleasant and fear-free trip possible during every vet visit.

8 Reasons Why You Should Be Using an Electric Toothbrush


Proper brushing technique and flossing will always be important factors in the maintenance of healthy teeth and gums. But did you know that your choice of toothbrush can make a big difference as well?

Studies have shown that electric toothbrushes are superior to manual toothbrushes for many reasons, and can help anyone have great oral health with less effort.


Below are 8 ways electric toothbrushes can provide great dental hygiene:


  1. Electric Toothbrushes are Efficient—

With rapidly spinning bristles, electric toothbrushes offer the kind of speed and power during brushing it would take a manual toothbrush much longer to produce, and would require extreme physical exertion from the human holding it. This means a more detailed cleaning is done in less time, which is always a good thing.


  1. Electric Toothbrushes are Thorough—

Because they are able to get behind molars, between teeth and gums, and into tight, awkward spaces between teeth while spinning, electric toothbrushes can make hard-to-reach places cleaner than traditional toothbrushes, preventing plaque build-up and cavities.


  1. Electric Toothbrushes are Professional—

Because they are so efficient at cleaning teeth, many people equate the feeling after using an electric toothbrush to the smooth, extra-clean way their teeth feel after a professional cleaning. Many dentists recommend them to patients for this reason, as less plaque build-up makes their job easier during routine cleanings.


  1. Electric Toothbrushes are Therapeutic—

Because they are similar to the sensation of professional dental cleaning tools, using an electric toothbrush can help desensitize a nervous patient to the whirring and scrubbing feelings that cause anxiety during routine cleanings.

Getting used to a motorized cleaning device in their mouth with an electric toothbrush can also be helpful for getting children ready for the tooth-polishing process at the end of dental cleanings, as well as helping them clean their teeth faster.


  1. Electric Toothbrushes are Environmentally Sound—

While they tend to be larger than manual toothbrushes, they don’t need to be thrown away as often, making electric toothbrushes a green choice for any consumer. Many brands even come with replaceable heads to reduce waste, and electrical plug-in chargers to eliminate the need for batteries.


  1. Electric Toothbrushes Cause Less Pain—

For those with arthritis, pulled or strained muscles, tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome and other ailments that cause arm or shoulder pain, having a toothbrush that does all the twisting, turning and brushing for the user can be a wonderful thing.


  1. Electric Toothbrushes Remove Stains—

Because of the extremely in-depth way they clean teeth—with hundreds of rotations impossible to simulate with a manual brush—electric toothbrushes have been shown to be very effective at removing wine, coffee and cigarette stains when manual toothbrushes aren’t helping.


  1. Electric Toothbrushes are Gentle on Gums—

One of the biggest mistakes made by manual toothbrush users is brushing too hard, or with an improper technique, which can damage the gums and cause them to permanently recede over time. Electric toothbrushes, however, provide just the right amount of pressure to massage the gums in a healthy manner while still removing bacteria.

It is very common for dentists to notice an improvement in gum tissue when patients switch from manual to electric toothbrushes, as well as enamel improvement, as brushing too hard can also damage the surface of the teeth.



Clinical studies have proven that in only 2 minutes, electric toothbrushes clean away more plaque and bacteria than manual toothbrushes can remove in 6 minutes. When The American Dental Association asked 16,000 patients to use electric toothbrushes instead of manual in a trial, 80% of the patients reported improved oral hygiene and dental health simply because of the change in type of toothbrush.

Join the many people enjoying positive dental check-ups, less plaque build-up, whiter teeth and fresher breath, and try out an electric toothbrush today. Your gums and teeth will thank you.

7 Ways Playing Video Games Can Help Your Kids



Violent video games have been shown to increase aggression in children, and excessive screen time is definitely not recommended for anyone. But did you know that in when played in moderation, the right video games can actually help kids develop and strengthen certain skills?

Read below about 7 different ways modest amounts of video game time might offer positive learning benefits:


  1. Video Games Increase Brain Function—

By forcing kids to memorize different characters, game rules and other aspects they need to move to the next level of a game, video games prep young minds for the memorization of phonics, multiplication tables and other such educational information.

Kids who play video games often do well at math, for example, because they are already well-practiced at memorizing formulas and numbers in games.


  1. Video Games Help with Dexterity—

Have you ever tried to play against a youngster at a video game and been amazed by their speed and hand agility? Those of us who grew up without video games lack the hand-eye coordination it takes to excel at the rapid succession of buttons that must be pushed during game play, but not our kids.

These skills will also carry over into the world of sports, art, music, keyboarding, or anything they try that involves fast, precise hand movement.


  1. Video Games Improve Vision—

As long as they’re not staring at screens all day long, which can tire eyes and cause headaches, moderate video gaming can improve vision by exercising the eyes and training them to follow movement. This can strengthen peripheral vision and increase reflexive quickness.


  1. Video Games Encourage Logical Thinking—

With many games, kids have to figure out ways to accomplish a goal or achieve a desired outcome and test their proposed solutions, much like using the scientific method.

For example, in the popular game Scribblenauts, kids must solve spatially-oriented situations for the main character using anything they can type into the scene (which also builds typing, spelling and vocabulary skills). When kids are forced to think this way, it teaches them to use and test logic.


  1. Video Games Allow Kids to Solve Problems—

In addition to boosting their strategic thinking skills by forcing kids to anticipate future moves (much like playing chess), certain video games teach children the valuable skill of problem or puzzle solving.

By giving them a series of challenges to conquer, video games force children to learn how to think for themselves to find answers, boosting self-esteem and teaching them how to calmly react in high-pressure situations.


  1. Video Games Facilitate Social Skills—

In the same way that playing board games with other children can teach kids about good sportsmanship and being a part of a team, group or online video games can create the same social outlet for kids.

Having a favorite game in common can also help kids bond by giving them an easy conversational opening. In the same way that wearing something featuring a favorite sports team logo can open communication, a T-shirt bearing the image of a game character can have the same effect.


7. Video Games Can Be Educational—

Many games actually teach historical facts, architecture, spelling, typing, and math. Some video games allow kids to use their imaginations as they build cities and imaginary worlds. Even games not designed specifically to be educational are still encouraging children to think creatively, which will help them in many ways.


Of course it’s still important for kids to get outside to exercise and play in the fresh air, but we need to remember that our children are growing up in a much more computer-oriented world than the one in which we grew up.

Learning computer skills needs to be a priority for children today to thrive as adults. As long as video gaming is done with supervision, in moderation and with the appropriate games for learning, it can be a great way to acclimate kids with the technology of their future while teaching them useful and healthy life skills.

7 Super Supplements for Bodybuilding



Athletes such as bodybuilders are always trying to find the most efficient ways to achieve their physical fitness goals, including supplementation. There are many helpful and completely natural supplements available today to help weightlifters more quickly build the lean muscle they desire.

Below is a list of 7 extremely beneficial bodybuilding supplements, and what they may be able to do for you:

1. Creatine—

Found naturally in beef and fish, creatine works by providing the muscles with extra energy during a workout, causing better results. It also helps replenish energy faster during a workout, and some reports have shown it may decrease the risk of heart disease in those who use it.

2. Caffeine—

Seems so simple to think that your morning coffee could increase the productivity of your workout, but it goes beyond merely giving you extra energy. One study found that ingesting caffeine before weight training increased strength by 10% (source: European Journal of Applied Physiology). Caffeine also increases tolerance to pain to help push through a rough set.

3. Deer Antler Spray—

Completely natural and loaded with vitamins, minerals, enzymes, anti-inflammatory agents and an insulin-like natural growth hormone, deer antler spray is becoming popular because of its ability to help strengthen muscles while helping muscles recover faster. Derived from the pre-calcified antlers of male deer, this supplement has also been reported to increase blood circulation, giving the user a better workout and quicker results.

4. Protein—

If you want to build muscles up, you have to give them the fuel they need to grow and heal, and one of the most basic supplements for this is protein. Many bodybuilders prefer why protein because it is absorbed quickly into the body, helping to increase lean muscle mass. Others prefer casein protein taken at night to achieve their protein needs. Soy protein is not generally recommended, as it can mimic estrogen in the body when consumed in large amounts.

5. ZMA—

ZMA is a patented mineral formula that has been getting attention lately because of its ability to speed muscle recovery. With zinc, magnesium and amino acids to strengthen the immune system and increase testosterone, ZMA also includes antioxidants to decrease toxicity in the liver.

6. L-Glutamine—

L-Glutamine is an amino acid that aids protein in building muscle, making it an important addition to any supplementation schedule. Increasing growth hormone production, L-Glutamine speeds up muscle recovery and is recommended before and after a workout. If you want to prevent muscle breakdown, this is the supplement to use. It is naturally found in many foods, such as meat, eggs, dairy and spinach, so if you eat a lot of animal products, you’re already consuming a decent amount of this substance.

7. CLA—

Naturally occurring in animal products such as meat and dairy, CLA (a.k.a. Conjugated Linoleic Acid) is a fatty acid that helps build lean muscle mass. CLA can also boost the immune system and fight free radicals with the antioxidants it offers, potentially lessening the risk of certain cancers.

If you have reached a bodybuilding plateau and would like to give your muscles a way to build the strength and mass you’ve been striving for, you might try adding some of the supplements listed above to your nutritional regime. You’ve got nothing to lose, and muscle to gain, right?

5 Fun Recipes Kids Will Love



Got a finicky eater? Or maybe your kids are just getting a little bored with the same old sandwiches? Here are some fun twists on snacks to get healthy fruits and vegetables into your children while having some good creative fun in the kitchen.


  1. Shish Kabobs

You know how cute food on skewers can be, whether they’re in the shape of those little plastic swords, or simple swizzle sticks, they all suddenly become tiny little shish kabobs when you slide pieces of fruits or vegetables onto them. You can turn snack time into a kiddie cookout with these adorable treats, making them a fun choice for birthday parties and sleepovers.

Some recommended fruits for skewers would be: strawberries cut into bite-sized chunks, pineapple pieces, Clementine orange slices, pitted cherries, grapes, kiwi rounds, banana slices, apple pieces, raspberries and blueberries.

Bonus: Give the kids small dipping bowls full of yogurt. Kids love to dip!


  1. Mini-Pizzas

When I was a child, my mom would make the most delicious fruit pizza by using sugar cookie dough as “pizza dough,” baking it into a giant pizza-sized cookie, and then covering it with cream cheese and pieces of fruit. It was an absolutely delicious dessert.

Now you can make a healthier, mini-version of this treat by using whole grain English muffins instead of the sugar cookie. Just toast an the muffin, spread cream cheese on it, and place cut up pieces of fruit into the cream cheese to make it look like a tiny, fruity pizza. Kids will love the novelty of having a mini-pizza for breakfast, and you can feel good about getting some healthy fruit and whole grains into them.

These also double as an afternoon snack or dinner if you use marinara or pizza sauce instead of the cream cheese, and a sprinkle of shredded mozzarella. If you can get some mushrooms and green peppers on them as well, even better!


  1. Pinwheels

Wraps cut into pinwheels are an adorable and easy-to-eat alternative to the daily lunchbox sandwich. Just spread hummus or cream cheese across a tortilla, then layer on fresh baby spinach, thinly-sliced tomato, and ham or turkey deli meat (or cheese if you have a vegetarian). After rolling your tortilla into a tight burrito shape, slice it into circles or pinwheels, and place them into your child’s plastic sandwich box for a fun surprise.


  1. Rainbow Pasta Salad

Children love rainbows and bright colors. It’s all about presentation with kids, and if you can serve them something happy and cheerful, you have a much better chance of getting them to eat it. This is where the rainbow pasta salad comes in. You know the spiral-shaped noodles that come in spinach green, carrot orange and beet red? So pretty.

These noodles can be cooked and served warm in a kid-friendly butter sauce, with fresh tomatoes, peas or carrots. It can also be served as a cold pasta salad if you prefer. Rather than mixing in vinaigrette dressing as you might for an adult’s cold pasta salad, mix in a light amount of ranch dressing, or any other dressing your child likes.


  1. Toothpick Party

It’s hors d’oeuvres for little people who can’t spell “hors d’oeuvres,” and somehow that just makes it really cute. Cube cheese, fruit, meats and vegetables, stick toothpicks into everything, and voila! Now it’s a party. The novelty of being able to grab a variety of different foods and the instant gratification of “toothpick nibbling” will entice the pickiest eater into trying new foods, and give any occasion a fun, celebratory feel.


Sometimes all it takes to get hesitant children to try new foods is a fresh perspective and a little creative fun. Give these funky, fresh ideas a try, and maybe your kids will find a new favorite snack today.

5 Fabulous Reasons for Dental Implants




We all experience bone loss as we get older, but unfortunately when we lose a tooth, bone loss occurs much more rapidly if we don’t replace the missing tissue. In the same way that weight-bearing exercises stimulate bone growth and increase bone mineral density in our other bones, the pressure applied to teeth when we chew stimulates the jawbone and keeps it strong.

In the empty space where a tooth used to be, the jaw receives no stimulation, and bone resorption will soon begin, essentially dissolving the solid matter below the gap in the gum line. The good news is that this disuse atrophy can be easily prevented with a bone graft or dental implant.

With that most important dental implant benefit in mind, here are 5 more great reasons dental implants are important:


  1. Preserved Self-Esteem—

Dental implants can maintain your face shape by keeping your jaw in solid condition, helping you look younger in the process.

Having a missing tooth can also undermine your self-confidence, making you feel less attractive than when you had a full mouth of teeth. A dental implant can give you back your confident smile and make you feel better about yourself.


  1. Increased Comfort—

When you remove a tooth and don’t hold the space with a dental implant or bone graft, the other teeth in your mouth may start to move out of place, giving you an improper or crooked bite. This can make chewing and eating uncomfortable, and can even affect your speech.

A proper bite is also important for muscle tone and alignment, making dental implants necessary for maintaining your facial muscles after the loss of a tooth.


  1. Maximum Durability—

Once you start losing teeth, if you don’t replace them with dental implants or bone grafts, you have officially started down the treacherous path to jawbone loss and possibly dentures.

A dental implant can halt this process before it even begins, preserving your jaw and the rest of your teeth with a replacement that will most likely last more than 20 years.

Many people lose a tooth and skip the replacement dental implant to save money without realizing they are actually costing themselves money in the long run after bone resorption and further tooth loss inevitably follow. And unlike dentures, bone implants are permanent, minimizing maintenance trips to and from your dentist.


  1. Gastrointestinal Benefits—

The mouth is where the lengthy process of food digestion begins, starting with the enzyme production that helps us digest our food and remove valuable nutrients when we chew.

When you remove one piece of the puzzle by not replacing a missing tooth, you make chewing more difficult, which in turn makes it harder for your body to process the food you eat. This poor digestion can affect the sufferer in different ways, such as malnutrition, indigestion, constipation, bloating, gas and heartburn.


  1. Oral Health Maintenance—

Having a missing tooth makes a person more prone to gum disease, in addition to causing the other teeth in the mouth to shift and move out of place.

But if you fill the missing spot with a dental implant, the enamel and structural integrity of the surrounding teeth is completely maintained. This is because a dental implant stands alone and doesn’t require the grinding or alteration of other teeth to support it.


Your dentist will do everything possible to save your teeth, but sometimes tooth loss is an unfortunate fact of life. Thanks to dental implants, tooth loss no longer has to mean jawbone resorption, and the inevitable negative side-effects it can cause.

So if you happen to lose a tooth, don’t worry; just be sure to preserve your self-esteem and health by getting a dental implant.


7 Super iPhone Apps for Wine Lovers




You don’t have to be an expert to appreciate a good wine. In fact, with research showing that red wine can improve heart health, longevity, prevent Alzheimer’s and fight certain types of cancer, a glass of red wine a day seems like a pretty smart idea for everyone. Plus, it tastes good.

Below is a list of 7 popular wine-related apps available for iPhone to help you discover new labels to love:


  1. Hello Vino (Free)

If you’ve ever found yourself standing frightened and confused in the wine aisle, trying to choose an appropriate bottle for a dinner party, this app promises to hold your hand and walk you through the process of picking the perfect wine. Hello Vino wants to be your personal sommelier, while giving you wine ratings and compatible food pairings.


  1. Cellar ($4.99)

The Cellar app allows you to manage and keep track of your wine collection, so you can remember which ones you like and which ones you’d rather not drink again. Consider this app a wine library tailored especially to your taste preferences that you can conveniently hold in the palm of your hand.


  1. Drync Wine Pro ($4.99)

Do you want to learn more about wines? Well look no further, because Drync Wine Pro allows you to search for and place wines in your virtual cellar, add photos and take notes. With a database featuring 1.2 million wines, user ratings, 270,000 expert reviews and current prices, this is the go-to app for anyone seeking wide-ranging wine knowledge. And we all know that knowledge is power. Or it will at least get you a nice glass of wine.


  1. AG Wine ($3.99)

The Approach Guides Wine app is great for beginners because it allows the user to search for wines by style, and learn about different types. If delving deeper into the world of wines and learning about regions, vintages, grape varieties and food pairings is desired, this app will facilitate that as well.


  1. Wine Events (Free)

This handy app works by telling you where and when wine tastings and other food and drink-related events are happening in your area. It allows the user to select a city to search, and even maps out events for the navigationally-impaired among us. Wine Events also allows the user to post events to Facebook so friends can join in on the fun.


  1. Snooth Wine Pro ($4.99)

The Snooth Wine Pro app is like something we would’ve seen in an old movie about the future and laughed at, because we’d never be able to take a picture of a wine bottle and instantly know everything about it, right? Guess again. It’s called image recognition technology, and Snooth Wine Pro has it. Once you take a photo of the wine, the comprehensive catalog gives you a description, user reviews, and a geographic search of nearby stores at which you might find the wine so you can strap on your jet pack and go get it.


  1. Wine Notes (Free)

This is a great app for anyone wanting to keep track of wines they’ve tried and take notes about the different flavors for easy reference. Wine Notes has a visual guide that allows users to choose flavor notes they detect, and to share reviews of wines they’ve tried on Facebook and Twitter. It also allows the user to add wines to their personal library and features barcode scanning technology.


With all the great wine apps available today, anyone can become more well-informed about the wines they like and find new favorites.

Whether you’re drinking for your health, for fun or because you appreciate the finer things in life, there is a perfect wine for you out there waiting to be discovered.


Terrific Types of Storage Tanks



Whether you’re using water storage tanks to store water for your landscaping, personal backyard garden or large agricultural business, there are many benefits to keeping your precious water sources enclosed and safe.

Open water sources, such as ponds and livestock water troughs can be vulnerable to contamination from pesticides and fertilizers, as well as breeding mosquitoes, algae and mold.

Storing water in a closed-top tank can also prevent evaporation, saving you money in the long run.

Below are some varieties of water storage tanks and descriptions that might help you decide which type is right for your home, farm or business needs.


Vertical tanks are a simply-designed and popular storage tank for keeping water clean and pure, but can also be used to store pesticides, fertilizer and other liquids used in the agricultural business. Available in a vast range of sizes, depending on your needs, vertical tanks range from as small as 25 gallon storage to as large as 20,000 gallon storage!


Plastic cone bottom tanks have a raised bottom base and come to a point underneath, allowing for maximum speed and efficiency of drainage. Because of their convenient shape, plastic cone bottom tanks are popular for water storage, wine making, agricultural grain storage, paper mills, fertilizer, and any industry in which mixing and rinsing of a stored product is necessary. The sharp angle at the base of a plastic cone bottom tank is easier to empty and clean than a flat-bottomed tank, making it a favorite among business owners.


Elliptical and horizontal leg tanks are primarily used for the transport of stored water, featuring a long, rounded caterpillar-like shape with “legs” to increase stability and reduce water sloshing during transport. With a low center of gravity, elliptical and horizontal leg tanks are built to ride on the back of a truck or trailer in a flat, stable manner, allowing the owner to move a water source freely about the ranch or business as needed. Need to drive clean water across the ranch to your herd of cattle? This might be the right water storage tank choice for you.


Elliptical tanks are basically elliptical leg tanks without the legs used for transportation, making them better suited to stationary situations. Because of their low center of gravity, and plastic cradle for stabilization, elliptical tanks make for a very sturdy and stable water storage system that can also be easily transported if necessary, unlike the more permanent types of tanks, such as vertical or plastic cone bottom tanks.


PCO tanks are commonly used by nurseries, as well as in landscaping and agriculture for water storage. Often featuring a rounded bottom to help with drainage, these tanks are built short and squat, with wide little legs to keep them stable. Available with or without steel bands, PCO tanks are a smart option for anyone with light irrigation needs.


Pick-up truck tanks are exactly what they sound like: tanks that fit neatly into the back of a pick-up truck. Convenience of transport and stability are offered by this particular tank, as well as an outward-facing drain that faces off of the opened tailgate. This would be an ideal water storage tank for a rancher or a farmer needing to water crops or livestock located inconveniently away from permanent water storage tanks.


Water storage tanks can enable you to maintain your business, farm, or home and help it succeed with the proper water storage system, saving you money and time spent on less efficient methods.

No matter what your water storage needs are, there is a plastic water storage tank out there that is exactly right for you.


Cool Gemstone Apps for the iPhone



We often wear beautiful jewelry, usually chosen to match an outfit, or to suit a mood. But have you ever wondered what the gemstones in your accessories might emotionally mean to you?

Aware of our fascination with gemstones and spirituality, app-makers have created apps for the iPhone and iPad. With these apps, you can browse the meanings of the gemstones with your phone while you browse for new jewelry, and find the perfect gemstones for you.


Gemstones by DWS

With this app, you can look up any gemstone, including your birthstone—which is purported to bring you good luck—and gather detailed information about its properties. The app also gives you a brief history of each gemstone, and a list of the ways in which it can improve the life of one who wears it.

The Gemstones by DWS app also tells you which month, zodiac sign, and day of the week are associated with the gemstone.


Crystal and Gemstone Healing 2.1—

Crystal and Gemstone Healing 2.1 contains detailed information of over 200 kinds of crystals and gemstones, explaining the healing powers associated with each gemstone. If you are shopping for new jewelry, or are interested in learning more about them, this is a wonderful tool for any gemstone enthusiast.

According to the website for this app, it offers these features:

  • Views with a thumbnail preview of each item
  • Ability to bookmark any selected item for easier reference
  • Ability to add a custom note to each item
  • iCloud synchronized bookmarks and custom notes
  • Ability to email any item to yourself and friends
  • Cross-referencing links to other items
  • A gemstone name search engine
  • Ability to enter a fun random entry when shaking the device
  • Offline browsing


Gemstone Powers Bible— 

Gemstone Powers Bible gives you detailed information of over 200 gemstones, their possible powers and descriptions of how they might help you. This app also focuses on the astrological powers of gemstones, and how their ruling planets can influence these strengths.

Each gemstone referenced includes in its description a color photo, the stone’s properties, energies, elements and chakra power. A description of the gemstone and how it may be used with other stones to compliment its powers and qualities is also included with this app.

Other features offered include:

  • User-friendly interface to preview all gemstones in one view
  • Ability to bookmark one stone for easier reference
  • Cross-referencing links to other stones
  • A stone name search engine
  • Offline browsing
  • Both iPhone and iPad version of this app included in a single purchase


Gemstones by Cut 1.0— 

Gemstones by Cut 1.0 is the app for you if you aren’t interested in the potential metaphysical or spiritual properties of gemstones, and are seeking a more geography-friendly app.

With a pictorial database of over 2000 gemstones, making this one of the most comprehensive gemstone apps available, this app also includes gemstone location found, habit, shape, and tone.

This app is for you if you are a hobbyist or professional interested in the geosciences who would like to learn more about gemstones, or be able to quickly identify them in the field.

Some benefits of Gemstones by Cut 1.0 include:

  • Advanced search for all gems
  • Ability to mark your favorite gemstones and view them in favorites
  • Ability to email gemstone to a friend
  • Shake your mobile device for a random gemstone
  • Insert a textual comment about the gemstone


Many fans of the mystical believe that different gemstones can give us different emotional qualities, or possibly even heal. Such claims can be impossible to prove, and we’re all aware of the power of the placebo effect; but you have to admit, sometimes it’s fun to think about how the gemstones in jewelry might affect one’s reality. And sometimes we want to learn more about gemstones because, well, look at them. They’re so pretty.

No matter what your motivation may be for learning more about gemstones, there is definitely an app that’s right for you.