A small business owner’s guide for choosing a fast, quality print vendor

Guide%20for%20choosing%20a%20print%20vendor Long gone are the days when ordering business cards or banners for trade shows required multiple visits to a print shop, followed by a lengthy wait to get the job done. Digital printing technology has dramatically improved the process, and that’s great news for small business owners who need quality print products to help build their brand and their business – especially in a pinch.
“Broader access to quality printing and services such as same day pickup have made it easier for small business owners to build brand identity with the print products that are their tools of the trade,” says Karen Post, the “branding diva” and author of “Brand Turnaround.” 
Before the advent of digital printing, small business owners would be hard pressed to find a print vendor willing to take small orders, fast turnarounds or requests for customization. Now, print vendors are plentiful, and with so many of them vying for your business, it can be difficult to know which one offers the best services and the best deals.
Post offers some tips for choosing the right print vendor for your small-business needs:
* Check out a vendor’s capabilities. Does the print shop or online vendor offer all the types of materials you might need for your business? Does the vendor only do business cards and photo cards? Or can they also offer postcards, signs, banners, invitations, announcements, stamps, labels, calendars and note cards? Choosing a vendor with broad capabilities can help streamline your printing tasks by allowing you to get everything done in one place, rather than farming out pieces of work to different vendors. This can also help enhance your company’s brand identity by maintaining a consistent execution along with similar look and feel for all your collateral materials.  
* How important is face time? Being able to walk into a store and speak with a qualified printing professional face-to-face. Talking to experts in your neighborhood, such as the Certified Print Pros at Staples Copy & Print affords you the opportunity of consulting in person about your print job – and the chance to build a lasting business relationship with a professional who will become familiar with your business needs.  
* Can the vendor provide samples? And are they up to your standards? Your print vendor should be able to produce quality samples of a variety of products in multiple formats. Reviewing samples can help you determine quickly if a vendor will be able to meet your quality requirements. Asking for proofs of your job can also help you catch any last minute errors or changes before the final product is produced.
* How quickly can the vendor produce? While digital printing and the Internet have greatly reduced the time lapse between placing an order and receiving it; you’ll still likely wait days for your product if you order from an online vendor. Sometimes you need it for an event immediately. Staples Copy & Print Centers now offer same-day service. You can order your print products online at http://www.staples.com and pick them up at your local center in as little as four hours. 
* Check the vendor’s reputation. Look for online reviews and testimonials about the print vendor you’re considering. Does the online vendor you’re thinking of have a lot of satisfied customers? If you’ll be dealing with a print shop, is it affiliated with a company that has a strong reputation and brand identity such as Staples? You can learn a lot about how a company will do business with you based on how they’ve done business with others.  In the end, you’re looking for quality and convenience at reasonable costs.

Courtesy of BPT

Unique chalkboard craft projects are a stylish way to stay organized

Unique%20chalkboard%20craft%20projects Everyone’s life needs a bit of organization – so why not do it with a bit of fun and whimsy? For a new way to get organized, think charming, unique … think chalkboard paint. That’s right, the old-school chalkboard is making a stylish comeback. And with a bit of hands-on creativity, your home can be organized, stylish and enjoyable.
Definable drawers
Is your home being overrun with clutter? The best way to overcome clutter – and keep everything tidy – is to ensure everything has its place. Labeling is a great way to stay organized and alert family members where items are – and where to put them away. Using stickers and markers for identification can sometimes look plain and boring, and are more permanent. Luckily, there is another way to label: chalkboard paint.
Drawers are ideal for storage and come in a variety of sizes to store anything from toys to jewelry. Plus, you can find great deals on old sets at yard sales or thrift stores. To start, simply clean and paint your drawers in a color that coordinates with your room’s decor. Once the paint is dry, create a border around the front of each drawer with painter’s tape. Next, spray several even coats of Krylon Chalkboard Spray Paint inside the taped area. When the entire project is dry, use chalk to identify the contents of each drawer. And, don’t limit yourself to white chalk. Colored chalk can add a stylish twist to your project. 
Time to…
To organize your schedule – or your whole family’s – keep track of time with a fun and creative schedule clock. This unique project replaces traditional hours and minutes with your daily activities.
Unique%20chalkboard%20craft%20projectsStart by finding a large, flat, wall-hanging clock and carefully remove the hands. Then, apply a coat of Krylon Indoor/Outdoor charcoal black primer to cover the entire clock, making it the same even color. Once the primer has dried, apply three coats of chalkboard spray paint. Finally, when the clock is fully dry, reattach the clock hands and finish by designating certain hours for your daily tasks. This project is especially ideal for young children who don’t yet know how to tell time; simply use drawings to help them know when it is time for their activities and you’ll avoid the everyday question of “is it time to (fill in the blank) yet?”
Labels for entertaining tables
When entertaining guests, you want them to feel welcome and at home. Adding personal messages or labels can be the solution to put your party over the top. Chalkboard paint can be the perfect addition to many of your go-to entertainment pieces. Spray the base of your wine glasses and label with guests’ names to keep track of drinks.  Spray the fronts of buckets, bowls or canisters to call out their contents. Spray a large platter or board to create a welcome sign or menu for your guests. The ideas are endless. And, for an extra decorative touch, use Krylon Leafing Pens to create whimsical designs around your creations. 
Soon, your home will feel more organized and stylish with these easy and delightful craft ideas. And the best thing about a chalkboard is you can constantly change it up. Simply erase and write something new. For more project ideas, visit http://www.krylon.com.

Courtesy of BPT

Private Gated Community In Southdowns

Private gated community in Southdowns!! Located in a gated enclave off Poplar, this 4 home neighborhood offers location and privacy. And THIS home offers every amenity you could desire: travertine floors, iron staircase, slab granite countertops in kitchen and master bath, open living style with kitchen open to breakfast, den and dining, master suite with stone tiled shower and ladies tub, upstairs landing area perfect for kids’ den, two bedrooms upstairs, guest room downstairs with bath, oversized covered patio for entertaining just waiting for your outdoor kitchen to arrive, fenced backyard with plenty of green space for a cocktail pool or playground equipment. What a delight to live in an established and highly desirable BR neighborhood but in a home only 5 years old! And gated and supremely private! You will enjoy the open floorplan and attention to detail in this home — a showplace to be with your personal touches! Call or Text 225.335.5395
4431 Poplar
Baton Rouge, LA 70808

Immaculate 3 Bedroom Home for Sale

Just off Kleinpeter Road on a quiet street is this immaculate home set beneath the shade of your very own oak tree. With a one car carport, three bedrooms, 1.5 baths, it has been freshly painted throughout and ready for you to unpack. If you have extra things that don’t fit, never fear — you have two storage buildings in the backyard! One of the buildings was custom built by the previous owner as a hobby room, and comes with a loft for storage. This would make the perfect workshop for the handyman (or woman). You will enjoy the peace and quiet of the area, and this large lot — 100×175! Take a look! Call or Text 225.335.5395.
11535 St. Lawrence
Baton Rouge, LA 70811

Just Listed in Baton Rouge

Greatnews today for our local real estate market was received today:

Congress Extends Rural Definition Until September 30
Earlier this morning, Congress passed an FY13 Continuing Resolution (CR) to keep the government funded through the end of the fiscal year. The CR includes a specific provision that extends eligibility for all rural communities that are currently eligible until September 30, 2013.
This gives rural advocates more time to build cosponsors for H.R. 858, the Rural Housing Preservation Act. So, please remember to ask your Representatives to cosponsor this bill to ensure that more than 900 rural communities can remain eligible for USDA Rural Housing programs — which locally means

Central, Zachary, Ascension and Livingston remain eligible for RD loans!

Just Listed Opportunities for YOU!

Along the Medical Corridor
Between Essen & Bluebonnet

Corner Lot
in Jefferson Highlands

8533 Kaylynn Dr. 10305 Oakline Dr.
Large, Totally Updated home
in Pine Park
Immaculate Home
off Kleinpeter Rd.
Gated Community
in Southdowns

3830 Pine Crest Dr. 11535 St. Lawrence 4431 Poplar Dr.

Price Changes at The Cottages at Southfork

Now $173,500
2br/2ba w/ study
Now $181,500
2br/2ba w/ study
Now $179,900

11510 Southfork #3 11510 Southfork #29 11510 Southfork #31

Open House
This Sunday from 2-4pm

Quality Home
in Woodridge off Pecue
3br/2.5ba w/ study

13434 Quail Grove

3 Bedroom Home off Bluebonnet

Cottage style home along the Medical corridor of Essen and Bluebonnet — jusf off Anselmo is this adorable 3 bedroom cottage. Guests can drive right up to the front door, a special feature, while you enter into your private carport from the rear alley! With a spacious living room overlooking the picket fenced side yard, there are two bedrooms along the front of the home, one with a special loft for kids or storage, each sharing a large bath. The kitchen has a pantry, bistro dining area, glass front cabinetry, ample storage and counterspace – plus a skylight! Both front bedrooms have fresh paint and carpet. With a split floorplan, the master suite is down the wood floored hallway and offers a vaulted ceiling, picture window, walk-in closet, and large master bath with skylight, built-in shelving, walk-in closet, and jetted tub. The laundry room has counterspace for folding and sink for soaking. Adjacent to the laundry is an oversize storage closet – put your luggage in here for your next road trip. There is also a storage room off the carport for your special projects. Established neighborhood, just off Anselmo between Madeira and Bluebonnet, you will enjoy the quiet and convenient lifestyle this neighborhood offers. Call or text 225.335.5395.

8533 Kaylynn
Baton Rouge, LA 70810

4 Bedroom Home in Pine Park

Looking for Pine Park? Look no more! Totally updated, including: * metal roof * 3cm slab granite countertops in kitchen and wet bar * porcelain tile flooring in kitchen and den; * rough hewn engineered wood floors in foyer, formal living and dining, hallway, and master bedroom (which is only a mere 17 x 15) * remote controlled gas logs in all masonry fireplace, * full house generator * litetime metal roof * newly fenced backyard * covered porch and rear patio (what a great extended playrooom for the kids)* 4th bedroom is off kitchen wing for exceptional guest privacy or your office * gas cooktop, double ovens, built-in microwave, stainless sinks(under mount, wine cooler * new lighting and ceiling fans * an abundance of storage * vaulted ceilings * this is Pine Park at it’s finest — literally move-in ready to enjoy the summer months at the neighbhorhood pool and play ground. Conveniently located off Jefferson near I-10 and I-12. Call or text 225.335.5395.
3830 Pine Crest
Baton Rouge, LA 70809

Design Tips – Furniture layouts that work with your fireplace

Furniture%20layouts%20that%20work%20with%20your%20fireplaceI love fireplaces! I was inspired to write about this topic today while incorporating a new fireplace design into a home renovation project I’ve been working on.

Nothing makes you feel more comfortable and cozy than a crackling roaring fire on a cold winter day. A fireplace instantly infuses character and charm into any room and gives the space its personality. A formal living room fireplace lets us know it’s a more mature space to relax or retire to on special occasions. The more rustic stacked stone fireplace in the family room calls for everyone to kick back, relax and nestle in for a casual family gathering. The dining room fireplace (my personal favorite) invites your friends and family to linger around the dining table for evenings filled with great food and even better conversation.

Whether it’s your living room, family room, dining room kitchen or bedroom, the fireplace is the focal point in the space and the proper furniture placement is imperative in order for you to make the most of your fireplace.

Symmetrical Layout.

If your fireplace is centrally located within a wall and is flanked by windows or bookcases that are the same dimensions on each side, then you’re dealing with a more traditional space and personality – which speaks to a more traditional furniture placement. Pairs are important here. Flank a pair of comfortable and inviting chairs (or similar in size, design and proportion) on either side of the fireplace. Place your sofa directly facing the fireplace and you now have a comfortable conversation area. Situate a cocktail table, ottoman or other surface in front of the sofa. Dress the mantle with a mirror, art, and other accessory pairs. Anchor the area with a beautiful area rug and make sure to relax the formality and potential stiffness with some colorful objects and textures.

Asymmetrical Layout.

In a more energetic space with the varied details, irregular nooks and crannies the fireplace that is off-center can create a more challenging space to layout. It’s also a more interesting space to design. You may still be able to place the sofa directly in front of the fireplace, but if that isn’t an option, consider positioning the furniture on a rug set on a slight diagonal turn. Make sure that the floating furniture situated on that rug are positioned at right angles with each other. It’s all about the relationship within the grouping itself. For a more informal atmosphere, a more casual accessory placement above the fireplace mantle is expected. Just make sure there is a balancing act between all elements within this asymmetrical space.

fireplaces%20and%20furniture%20layoutsOpen Floor Plan.

Many homes have great rooms or large family spaces that are open and undefined. If not designed properly they can feel unanchored as the furniture can feel unanchored in an opened multi functional space. Open floor plans tend to flow from one space to another so it’s more important than ever to have each space relate to each other. Create the furniture groupings in front and around the fireplace. Direct the traffic and flow around the furniture grouping rather than through the space – thereby defining the living space and accentuating the focal point. Keep everything clutter-free and avoid any sharp corners and obstacles. Incorporate durable and space defining flooring and area rugs to help designate zones to help define the space and enhance that beautiful fireplace.

Finally, remember to keep your seating casual and inviting, use forgiving fabrics which allow you to kick back and relax – and sprinkle high end comfort throughout with luxurious down pillows to sink into at the end of the day. Light the fire, grab your tea your favorite book and nestle in for the night!

by: Lori Gilder 

4 Bedrooms Home in Jefferson Highlands

Situated on a corner lot, follow the brick walk to the pigeonnaire styled entry, flanked by gas lanterns, and transomed front entry. An open floorplan, you enter into a vibrant and bright living space offering 10 foot ceilings, floating column, formal dining overlooking front landscape, gleaming scored concrete flooring, corner fireplace framed with white travertine marble, wall of windows across the rear overlooking covered porch and spacious fenced yard, open kitchen with large bar area serving 3 or more, breakfast room, and kitchen cabinetry for days – plus a pantry! Two bedrooms with private Jack&Jill bath are on one wing, while another guest room is adjacent to the breakfast room – owner says it made a wonderful kids den when kids were small. New carpets in the bedrooms! With the split floorplan, the master suite is totally private and overlooks the backyard through triple windows. The master bath offers two vanities, separate shower, soaker tub, and walk-in closet. The laundry room is on this wing for added convenience. Do you collect art? You are going to love the art and artful displays in this home — it will delight you. With an abundance of windows, natural light streams throughout the open living spaces. Jefferson Highlands is convenient to Bluebonnet/Airline/I-10 and I-12, and also offers a neighborhood swimming pool with swim team for summer fun (within walking distance). Call or text 225.335.5395

10305 Oakline
Baton Rouge, LA 70809

Lost in the Home Search?

Lost in the Home Search? Never fear …

We need your help. We have qualified buyers ready to buy, but their new home cannot be found!
Could you possibly have the house for them?

Southdowns, Garden District Area Area 6
*3br/2ba updated, move-in ready *3br/2ba move-in ready, brick home
on slab
Capital Heights, Mid-City LSU Area
*2br/1ba+ on slab, fixer-upper ok *2br/2ba University View Condo
*3br/2ba on large lot, pool ok, fixer-upper ok *3br/2ba condo on bus route
*3br/2ba updated, move-in ready 3br/2ba updated detached home
in Rivers Edge/Lakes Edge
Area 5
*4br/2ba or 3br/2ba w/office on at least half acre
*3br/2ba+, 1,500sq.ft.+ w/ community pool
*4br/2ba+ Highland Rd. near 1-10 area
*3br/2.5ba+ w/ lake views, max 10 yrs old
*3br/2ba Garden/townhome, Bluebonnet area, max 8 yrs old
*3br/2ba detached brick home on slab, move-in ready
*4br/2ba in Fairhill under 15 yrs old
*3br/2ba updated home, move-in ready

Click Hereif you have a match and we will get you SOLD!