Valentine’s Day Treats That Are Sweet, and Not Chocolate


If your sweetheart is allergic to chocolate, it can be a challenge to find Valentine’s Day treats. Here are some ideas for sweet treats that everyone can enjoy.

Baked Goods

Perhaps the category with the most variety available is baked goods. There are endless recipes that provide a romantic and Valentine’s Day feel that don’t have any chocolate in them whatsoever. You could find them at the local bakery, or make them yourself for an extra touch of love.

Raspberry muffins, crispy rice treats with pink sprinkles, or a cherry pie are all great ideas for starters. Pink colored cupcakes with vanilla frosting or cinnamon rolls with red hots are festive and delicious. If your special someone is allergic to chocolate stay away from red velvet flavored food because it usually contains cocoa, and check all sprinkle and decoration ingredients to make sure they don’t contain chocolate as well. You could always opt to go savory and make heart shaped treats that are appetizers instead.  

Chilled Desserts

The next category where you can find some delectable delicacies without cocoa is chilled deserts. Cremebrulee, cheesecake, mousse, and no bake pies can be silky and sweet for your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day. An edible arrangement made of fruit can be a fun gift to be delivered to their workplace, or a cookie bouquet.

Some alternative flavors that evoke the fresh, fun, and romantic tones of the holiday are lemon, lime, strawberry, cherry, raspberry, vanilla, peaches and cream, caramel, and cinnamon. You could always opt for caramel popcorn, or other non-chocolate candies as well if you’re running short on time. Taffy, toffee, honey, and red licorice are all some options that are sure to please.

Ice Cream

Another fabulous category where there are lots of opportunities for flavor and fun is ice cream. Carvel cakes, gelato, frozen yogurt, sherbet, etc, there are lots of varieties available for you to choose from to surprise your special someone

You could give them strawberry flavored Carvel cakes with a special message you’ve written on the top in gel icing, a pint of caramel or pecan flavored with vanilla, or a coffee flavored gelato with a gift card to their favorite coffee house. The possibilities are endless when it comes to finding a sweet treat this Valentine’s Day that isn’t chocolate. Just use a little creativity, think outside the box of chocolates, and enjoy the day.


5 Benefits of Selling Your Structured Settlement


If you’ve won a settlement due to a lawsuit, you’re probably receiving it through regular annuities in what is known as a structured settlement. While there is much to be said about receiving payments on a regular and reliable basis, not everyone knows that the settlement money is theirs, and they can have it in a lump some whenever they want it. This is accomplished by selling the settlement to a structured settlement company. Here are a few reasons this could be the best course of action for you.

1. Payment Is Extremely Quick

When you receive money through annuity payments, you’ll never have all of that money until the annuities have exhausted the funds. This could take years, and there are several ways you could use that money right away. When you sell your payments to a company that buys structured settlements, that money could arrive within a few weeks, enabling you to spend it on whatever you want.

2. Pay off a Debt

If you’re carrying a lot of debt, it may not be wise to have settlement money sitting somewhere you can’t reach it. The compounding nature caused by high interest rates means it probably makes better economic sense to have that money up front instead.

3. You Can Invest Your Settlement Money

As your structured settlement arrives over the years, the effect of inflation devalues your payments the longer you wait. By receiving your money in a lump sum, you can have access to it before its value decreases, and then invest it so the value of your money will actually go up instead of down. You could also invest it in a new business or in making improvements to an existing business. Either way, your settlement money is working for you instead of waiting to arrive several years from now.

4. Pay off Medical Bills

If you’re hit with a medical emergency, you might have new debt you can’t pay off. This is particularly problematic if you’re unable to pay for continuing treatment. Selling a settlement in such an instance can literally be beneficial to your health.

5. Pay for Tuition

Getting a degree is extremely important to your prospects for earning a living in the future, and a perfect example of when money delivered up front can be more valuable than when it’s received through annuities.

To gain advantage of having access to your settlement money when you need it, contact a company that buy structured settlements, and they’ll walk you through the process.


3 Reasons to Be Aware of Property Fraud


Homeowners have likely heard about title fraud. This is where someone can gain access to your personal information and control of your home’s title. While this is a growing type of crime, many homeowners don’t understand how widespread it is and don’t think it can happen to them. Here are three reasons why property fraud should be a concern to you.

It Can Go Undetected for a Period of Time

Title fraud is the fastest-growing type of white-collar crime in the United States. In many situations, the victim doesn’t even realize that they are a victim until long after the crime has been committed. By that time, their title could be transferred into someone else’s name and they might be borrowing money against your property. There are various other problems that can be caused by this type of crime that can be difficult and time-consuming to overcome. Along with its popularity among thieves, this makes this type of fraud one of the most concerning types of crime for homeowners.

It Can Happen to Anyone

All a criminal needs to steal your home’s title is your personal information. There are various ways that identity thieves can steal your information. This includes receiving it over the phone, over the internet, or through the mail. Some criminals will contact you pretending to be someone else while others will steal the information from legitimate sources, such as stealing your mail. A common mistake is to think that you can’t fall victim to this type of crime. This results in people not taking the proper steps to protect themselves. It’s important to understand that anyone is vulnerable to this scam and can become a victim.

It Can Cost You a Significant Amount of Money

While this type of crime can be difficult and time-consuming to overcome, it can also cost you a lot of money. Oftentimes, the criminal will use your information to borrow against your home. By the time that you recognize your information is being used in this way, they could have already taken thousands of dollars. While there are alerts available to protect you, these likely won’t get to you before some damage has been done. This makes prevention even more important.

When many people think about fraud, they don’t think that it could ever happen to them. This is a continuously-growing type of crime that can affect anyone of any age. These are just some of the reasons why you should be vigilant of property fraud.


Using Visuals to Power up Your Pitch Meeting

Pitching a new product to potential investors can be daunting. With the right visual aids you can help your investors see the value of your new invention.


The two main reasons you should use visual aids in your pitch meeting are time and communication. If your potential investors have a busy schedule or you are just one of several pitches they are seeing that day, standing out from the rest with the small amount of time you are given is paramount and visual aids will help you do that.

The second reason is to more effectively communicate your product’s function and value to them. It can be difficult for someone who has no knowledge of your item to grasp what its idiosyncrasies are in one meeting. By using visual tools you can help your audience see, feel, and grasp more details about your merchandise, so they can better understand what it is, and what it does. This is especially important if your product will be the first of its kind. Since nothing quite like it exists on the market yet, it can be very helpful to use custom 3D printing to make a replica or small scale model that investors can see and interact with during the meeting.


While visual aids are important, you can have too much of a good thing. If you use an abundance of props or slides they could dominate the presentation and the materials could choke out the message. Try to find a happy balance and gauge what your audience will require. If you are meeting with one or two people then a few visuals should suffice. If you are meeting with a large group you may want to have more.

Also keep in mind the size and capabilities of the room you will be holding the meeting in. Will there be power hookups for laptops or tablets? Do they have a projector and a screen? Will there be enough room to bring a model of the product in to showcase? These are all questions you should think about and have a presentation that can be flexible if needed.


Electronic slide shows can be effective, but require proper lighting and hookups. Poster boards can solve the electricity and lighting issue, but may be cumbersome to carry on elevators and through busy lobbies. Consider having a colleague or friend help you set up for the meeting so you can save time and effort.

Having physical representations of your product available for viewing or interaction is perhaps one of the best ways to visually power up your presentation. A small custom 3D printing of your object, or sample sizes available for testing are great ways to introduce your audience to your product and use effective visual aids for a memorable pitch.


Basic Office Furniture and Equipment for Start-Up Companies


When starting a new business venture, there are many things to think about. Planning the big picture can be consuming, but it’s the small details that’ll make the difference in your daily operation. These include the office supplies, equipment, and furniture that you’ll choose. 

To make your life easier in such a busy time, check out this list. These are the things you need to stock up on to set the tone for success. 

Electronic Equipment 

Whether it’s a big or small company, no office will function without computers, mailing systems, printers, and other devices designed for business management. Here are 4 most basic machines you need to equip your workplace with: 

Computers and Software 

Given that information is the lifeblood of all enterprises, it’s a necessity to purchase cutting-edge innovative computer systems and software. These tools will provide your employees with efficient web browsing and research, email communication, spreadsheet functionality, and word processing. 

Internet Connection 

If data is an essential component of a business, the internet is the veins and arteries that channel information throughout your company. Since employees do most of their transactions online, having a high-speed connection is a necessity. 

Multifunction Printer

Printers are one of the foundational pieces of the workplace. It’s wise to invest in a good quality device that’ll take care of multiple important tasks, such as printing, photocopying, scanning, and faxing. The more things you can do in-house, the less money you spend on outsourcing services. 


Having the right office furniture creates an environment that’ll help your staff perform their tasks more enjoyable. It also helps in making them feel relaxed, as they’ll spend a huge chunk of their day at the workplace. 


When buying chairs, keep these two things in mind: comfort and ergonomics. While the former is obvious, the latter is a factor that determines whether the equipment is designed for efficiency. Find seats that have backrests, adjustable functionality, and good stability. 


You and your employees will spend many hours behind a desk in your workplace. So, pay close attention to its design, size, and other factors, such as storage and your technology needs. 

Pantry Supplies 

There should be a small kitchen in your office that has utensils, a mini-fridge, a microwave oven, a coffeemaker, and a water dispenser. This will encourage your employees to remain hydrated and satisfied with food and drinks. 

Choosing the right equipment and supplies depends on your business requirements and the needs of your employees. To ensure you’re purchasing only the best items, check out the most reputable office store anchorage ak



Availing a Home Loan is not as easy as it sounds. You might have to face a lot of complications while applying for a Home Loan like there might be some problem with your documents, or you might have a low credit score, or the interest rate might be too high, etc. Sometimes the bank does not provide you the loan amount in full payment. This is called a partial disbursement.

A partially disbursed loan is when the bank provides you 50-80 percent of the loan amount. But if you are facing problems regarding the payment of the loan from the bank you can either consult the bank for full payment or switch the loan to other banks.

You also have the option of transferring your Home Loan if it’s partially disbursed. And by doing this you will be able to convert the loan which is partially disbursed into a loan that is fully disbursed and switch your pre-EMI into EMI. Since the rate of interest is connected to the base rate, you often had to pay a higher rate of interest. But that’s not the case if you switch to MCLR rate.

While shifting the loan you have to consider the interest rate offered to you by other banks. Your current bank might not approve the switching of the loan. It might also happen that your current bank might also offer you low-interest rate. At that time you must compare the interest rate given by the current and the other bank while switching the loan.

The tenure of the loan can range anywhere from 6 months to 10 years. As the lowest possible period is 6 months the judgment to invest in an ultra-short term fund can be done. While you consider other options, you must also consider the Home Loan rates given by both the banks as these rates can increase the final amount that you are going to pay for the loan.

While processing the loan, the banks and money lenders can charge you processing fee and hidden costs more than the permissible costs. So you need to be clear and look for the best Home Loan lender who provides you a loan at a low-interest rate and keep no costs hidden from you.

There are free Home Loan EMI calculators available online which can help you understand how much EMI you will have to pay on your Home Loan. All you need to do to use this calculator is enter the loan amount, the rate of interest that the bank is charging you and the tenure you are going to take to repay the loan. The calculator will help you get an idea about the interest rate that you have to pay and once you know the amount that you’ve to pay, it’ll be easier for you to manage your finances. You have to be very careful while making a loan switch. You have to consider all pros and cons while making a loan switch. The attractive offers and interest rate can lead you to make a wrong decision. While switching the loan you can take the help of a loan advisor, who will help you with your doubts and provide you with the necessary information.



There are many benefits of content marketing as you may have already heard of but the secret of reaping those benefits lies in being how effective content marketing strategy is. If the strategy you have enacted is not up to the mark, you cannot expect to leverage the benefits completely.

On the other hand if you skeptical about investing in content marketing then you should probably think it over because of the misnomer that content marketing is not relevant to my niche or industry since you are sadly mistaken. Let us see below why you should rely on gains through content marketing for your business.


Content marketing allows your business to achieve high ROI (return on investment) because it influences a lot of areas. If the content is decent enough, you can publish it across various platforms and this means increased brand visibility and reputation, customer engagement and retention, in addition to conversions for your business.

This will undoubtedly help you recover any or all of the money in terms of time and cost that you have invested in the strategy. When you earn from all of the avenues above, your returns are multiplied and in turn, you achieve cost effective marketing for your business.


You cannot view content marketing in isolation but in totality, with other marketing strategies, you have in place for your business. For example, your business is sponsoring a rock concert, people will be more inclined to do an organic search on your business – the demographics that you are targeting. Your company will rank higher in search engine results.

The content marketing strategy will also provide assistance to your social media campaigns. You can share updates in the form of announcements or offers for your followers or you can boost your email marketing campaigns, consequently. Your top content can be utilized as a landing page for driving conversions into paid advertising.


There are a ton of options that are available to a content marketer. If writing articles isn’t your ball game, you can switch to more visual content such as in the form of infographic, video tutorials and the likes thereof.

If that doesn’t appeal you either, you can resort to conducting video interviews with the experts in your niche or can podcast sessions with the gurus of your industry. Point being, that sky is the limit what you can do with content marketing. Whichever one you decide to opt for, it is imperative that you provide something of value to your followers and/or fans.


Content marketing occurs in a competitive environment and the competition rises day by day. It may be that your rivals are engaged in content marketing strategy and have an edge over you because you have not devised any strategy as of yet.

It is because when you devise a content marketing strategy you start tapping into the trending topics, events, and opportunities that were lying in front of you but you were unable to seize due to lack of a strategy.

The sooner you integrate a content marketing strategy, the better. This way you will have the chance to stay ahead of your competition because it might be that your rivals are struggling or are in the process of coming with a strategy. When you are diligently involved in brainstorming ideas for your content marketing strategy, your business can earn an edge over theirs.


Content marketing also helps you in achieving compounding returns on your investment. Unlike fixed returns, a strategy in place would result in returns from fixed and semi-permanent assets. A thing called web “real estate” will increase as more and more content will publish and subsequently begin to spread.

Why is it compounding return? Because previously published popular posts coupled with your new content will generate cumulative returns and thus, an exponential growth of your business can be observed. So the sooner you devise a content marketing strategy the better your business prospects.


Although, content marketing demands your time and energy but you can decide how you choose to invest and how much you choose to invest. Normally speaking, and it is the rule of the thumb that the more efforts you put in the more effective is your strategy for content marketing.

If you are someone who is starting out with his business, then perhaps you can decrease your loss potential by investing in the very basics of content marketing. This is no way means that you are compromising on quality but rather it is playing safe unless you become well-versed in the trade.

So there is no rule book that says your business cannot survive if content marketing is not integrated or is part of your strategy but if you want your business to thrive instead you want to try it out. Think wisely and then decide.


The content that your produce or employ dictates how your company has positioned itself in the market. If your content is more corporately tuned which in turn is linked to your employees’ performance, it tells that your company is keen on investing in human capital.


An effective way to connect your message with the product or service you are selling is by tracing your buyer’s journey of purchase. It can be done by working with your sales and client servicing staff. It will detail and reveal aspects necessary to formulate a content marketing strategy that will influence each stage of buying.

Since marketing is essentially responsible for generating leads and the sales thereafter, it is equally important that this effort is complemented with a first-rate content to bridge the gap between marketing and sales, digitally.


This is true. It can be used in conjunction with traditional channels as stated earlier but the fact remains, it is cheaper to employ. With SEO you can optimize your organic traffic. But for SEO to bring in results relevant content should be present on your website or what’s the point of a visitor to visit your site in the first place if the information there serves as no takeaway.

Though, content marketing must not be considered a quick fix which it is not! And no, not a single piece of content or post/article is going do wonders for your business either. Therefore, develop killer content around your target keywords and keep churning out pieces of value for your visitor.

You can also employ paid mediums to generate leads but once the paid campaign is over leads will vanish. Organic SEO, is relatively long term and will continue to provide you with leads but on one condition that your content should be likewise optimized.

So above are few benefits that can be derived out of an effective content marketing strategy. If we have left out any of the benefits, you think were necessary, point them to us in the comments section below.

Author Bio: Bramwell Osula is a content marketer and a social media enthusiast. He is an MBA from a reputable university and his interests include blogging, web design, football and Chinese food. He can be contacted for essay services UK and you can follow him for updates by following him on social media.



Any discussion on the marketing world won’t be complete without involving the queen electronic medium: Despite the obviousdomination of television, radio is still a usable medium to reach smaller business owners. Also, the emergence of Internet-based radio broadcasts has opened new possibilities.

In fact, radio-based advertising can be much more affordable that we might think. There are golden rules that we need to consider if we plan to achieve success in TV and radio campaigns. In general, we should place ads on radio only when people are listening.

For the best results, we should keep radio ads placed tightly together. Like with newspaper and TV, repetition is also essential. One good thing about radio is that listeners are less likely to switch the station when an advertising message is being aired. So, consumers will more likely to know our address, web address, products and phone numbers.

However, unlike with newspaper, customers are not able to re-read the advertising. For this reason, we should make sure that commercials are placed close together in specific time slot. We should understand our audience and their typical demographics.

It is quite fortunate that radio offers very negotiable rates for advertising. We may also barter regular airtime by offering our services and products as contest prizes. Many listeners are quite loyal to specific DJs, so we should make sure that they support us by giving endorsements. They may personally read our advertising messages and this implied endorsement can actually be very effective because consumers are already familiar with those DJs.

For localized, small businesses; radio advertising is often combined with newspaper advertising. In this case, we may announce through radio that we distribute coupons in the newspaper. This is a good way to integrate radio and newspaper advertising. In fact, it is possible to negotiate for reduced ads rates on newspaper by using this kind of advertising.

Like with newspaper, placement is key, especially if we want to reach specific group of listeners with our radio ads. Some radio stations offer package plans. Before choosing such a plan, we should be aware that placement is key and it is possible that package plans don’t represent good placements.

It is possible that the radio station will air some of our advertisement very early in the morning or late at night when fewer people listen to them. We should make sure that our advertising messages are listened to by as many customers as possible. So, we should be discuss with the radio station and make sure that our messages are aired at proper times.

For many consumers, radio is still their great pastime and they can be particularly loyal. TV often offers significant persuasive power and it should work very well. However, there are golden opportunities that we need to consider and we could miss them if we don’t do things properly. Good radio advertising should have significant audience reach and provide instant validation. Although radio is no longer a new platform, it is still possible for us to obtain creative opportunities.



Whether it’s developing support channels or investing in a visitor check in app, there are so many things startups can do to improve how they interact with customers.

Here are four of them:


Just how important is customer loyalty?

Reports by the White House Office of Consumer Affairs show that loyal customers are worth up to ten times more than their first purchase. That’s a lot more bang for your buck if you consider that acquiring a new customer costs six to seven times more than reengaging an old one.

Reach out to old customers via email and advertising channels. Keep them up to date with your latest products and services. Chances are, if they liked you the first time, they’ll be happy to do business with you again.


According to Harvard Business Review, the number one most important factor in customer loyalty is reduction of customer effort.

Rather than adding more customer service reps or beefing up your phone lines, focus instead on reducing customer friction–that is, by providing multiple channels of support that facilitate problem solving without having to pick up the phone.

It could be as simple as a chatbot, an FAQ section, or a visitor registration app like Greetly. Whichever the case, this strategy is bound to improve customer interaction and reduce spending customer service spend.


Discounts are the best way to make a quick buck…but also the fastest way to kill your branding.

Notice how premium brands like Apple, Lululemon, Rolex, and Starbucks rarely offer discounts?

Why? Because they believe their products are worth the price.

When you sell a product for less, it signals to consumers that: (1) your regular margins are too high, (2) you’re desperate to get rid old inventory, or (3) you lack confidence in your brand. Whichever the case, you’re bound to hurt your brand in the long run.

Not to mention that discounts are addictive. Offer a discount now, and customers will keep asking. It’s a vicious cycle that eats into your margins over the long run.

Need an alternative strategy?

Reward customers with value ads.

Selling industrial equipment? Throw in a sweet five-year warranty for FREE.

Selling footwear? Offer a pair of socks for every $200 purchase.

Unlike discounts, value ads increase the perceived worth of your brand by expanding the range of your offers.

Pay less attention to price and emphasize value instead. The greater value you place on your products, the more your customers will realize that what you’re selling is worth paying for.

Besides good value shouldn’t come cheap, right?


The great Sir Richard Branson once said, “Take care of your employees and they’ll take care of your business”. Truer words have never been spoken.

Genuine customer service starts with your employees. The happier they are with your company, the happier they’ll be serving your customers and clients.

Want a quick tip?

Treat your employees well and give them more than they deserve. More often than not, whatever goodwill they receive from you will be paid forward to your customers.

How’s that for compensation!

Ready to grow your business for the long haul? Consider these customer service strategies your first step.



Successful and fruitful investing is not always about the money you make. Investments are also about how much money you keep. And most of the time, people make mistakes in the investment process.

Either you are new or have been long-time investing, it is easy and simple to make mistakes. And avoiding these mistakes can suggest better returns and keep your losses minimum. Allowing your assets the possibility to grow and develop over time.

Of course, nobody is perfect. Still, some of the errors you may make are common. To help you out, listed below are seven common investment mistakes you should avoid.


Investing alone will not clear up or resolve all your problems financially, whether you like it or not. It is simple to think that because you are now starting to invest, everything will be flawless and exemplary. But it is not applicable in the real world.

You cannot easily beat the earnings of the stock market over the short term or long term. Do not be unrealistic. Always keep your expectations in the real world. Examine and review what the stock market truly does over the years, and utilize those numbers for your anticipation and expectation.


Short-term investing might not allow your investments to grow and develop over time potentially. Long-term thinking is especially critical if you aim for long-term investments, like college education of your children or your retirement.

A lot of investment professionals suggest that for long-term growth,  it is very crucial to invest in the stock market. Although, there are times when the prices of the stocks decreases and your investments lose value.

It is not easy and simple to invest. However, by being attentive and observant, you can avoid making this investing mistake and eventually raise the potential of your investment growth for a long period.


Just like any endeavors, you need to have a plan before you start investing. The more you plan, the higher probability of success. Not having a reasonable and precise idea of what you want to accomplish is like building a house or any other establishments without a blueprint.

Before you invest your money in bonds, stocks, or any other investments, you should take some time to plan of where you want to proceed. Consider your objectives and your overall goals.

Be specific. Furthermore, you also need to evaluate and determine the level of risk you are most comfortable to deal with along the process. You should also need to consider the kinds of assets you want to invest your money in and which assets will help and assist you to reach your goals.

In every type of assets, such as stocks and bonds, you need to consider and examine the amount of diversity included to assure that you will have an excellent balance of investments. Lastly, a written plan provides you a way to record and track the developments and progress of reaching your objectives.

If you’re still doubtful about investing, you can seek advice from credible advisory firms such as Ashe Morgan to help you out and consider the options that you might want to take.


Either you are investing big time or small time, you want your investments to work and execute well, and produce great returns. It means creating a long-term strategy and adhering to it.

If you are relentlessly changing your assets around in an attempt to pursue great returns, then you are not allowing your investments a shot to exhibit what they can truly do.

Take heed that investing requires and demands you to have a considerable amount of patience. Because on the contrary, making careless and impulsive decisions can be very troublesome and complicated.

Look at the complete history of the investment you prefer because it will provide you with more excellent ideas of what you can anticipate in the future. Use your sound judgment to become a successful investor and know where the possible lapses may appear to make sure that your investment strategy works.


Decisions created entirely by your emotions can lead to detrimental and devastating results, like the computer made decisions that can cause a problem. Emotional-based choices sometimes contain biases.

For instance, when a potential investor purchases a specific investment, and it rises afterward, they might embrace the idea that they were confident and definite that it would occur. On the other hand, if it declines, the investors may persuade themselves that they had a feeling that it could happen as well.

This situation arises because of the human behavior. Human behavior has a likelihood to organize our thoughts to suit the assumptions of the moment. Do not let your emotions command or tell you what you should do. You will just need great decisions and human reasoning.


In conclusion, when investing, there are mistakes that you can commit. However, there are common investment mistakes most investors make such as expecting too much, short-term thinking, no plans, impatience, and emotion-based decisions. To lessen your mistakes, always remember to be patient and do not make rash decisions out of emotions. Get rid of these elements from the equation.