Archive for the ‘Home and Family’ Category

Protecting Your Children Online

In Home and Family on March 13, 2013 at 3:28 am

The Internet is an amazing tool for people of all ages—including children. Not only is there a mind-boggling amount of information about virtually any topic that can be accessed in seconds, but it also allows for communication and socializing with people in completely new ways. However, with that increased connectivity comes the potential for abuse—and often times, the victims of this abuse are children.

Kids are infinitely curious, so it’s no surprise that the Internet can be incredibly appealing to youngsters. But with social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter becoming so popular in recent years, it can be tempting for kids to spend more and more time interacting with their friends virtually rather than in real life. Some children get so caught up in this digital world that it may begin to replace their interactions in real life—both good and bad.

One of the most common problems for preteens and adolescents is cyber bullying. Gone are the days when a child’s sole interaction with a tormentor might be in the hallway or in a single class period. Now with social networking, the bully has access to a victim’s profile and can send harmful and hateful messages at any time.

In addition, there’s also the threat of children getting involved in friendships online with adults who may be out to take advantage of them. These relationships may start out innocently enough, but television shows like To Catch a Predator have shown that many online relationships involving children can take a turn for the worse very quickly.

That’s why it is important for parents to monitor a child’s Internet usage and stay involved with their life. Ask questions about what they’re doing online such as who are they talking to, which of their friends are online, and do they have any Internet-only friends?

In some cases, it may even be appropriate to install software on the computer that blocks websites like Facebook and Twitter if a password you set isn’t entered. But before doing this, it’s important to sit down with your child and discuss the possible dangers that might lurk in cyberspace, and make sure he or she knows that things that happen online can very easily spill over into real life.

Five Back-To-School Tips for Working Parents

In Home and Family on January 24, 2013 at 5:02 pm

For many working parents, sending their children back to school after the holidays or summer vacation is both anticipated and feared. Finding ways for children to stay busy while you are at work can be a big task, but so can adjusting to a new school year. Getting up earlier, more traffic than usual, and still trying to make it to work on time can be a challenge. Here are some tips to help your family develop a helpful back- to -school routine.

Reestablish Routines

During summer, bedtime routines usually go out the window. Kids stay up later than usual and they sleep in the next day. By the time school starts again, the daily rhythm that works best for a family needs to be reestablished again. Homework time, dinnertime and bedtime should ideally happen at the same hour each day. Children thrive on routines, since that gives them a sense of control over their lives.

Pack Lunches the Night Before

A huge time saver in the morning is to pack lunches the night before. Doing that can save you around 15 minutes of your morning routine, which helps reduce common stress.

Teach Children to Help With Chores

A working parent already wears so many different hats throughout each day. Who says you have to do everything around the house too? Expecting children to do chores teaches them responsibility at a young age. Even a four-year old is capable of putting dirty clothes in the hamper. Besides, taking some of the chores off of your hands makes life easier on you. You are not doing your children a favor by doing everything for them. Less cleaning time means more family time.
After-school Plans

It’s important to know well ahead of time where your child is going to be after school dismisses. Find a babysitter or nanny, or sign up for the after school program that most schools offer. It’s also good to have a sitter ready for sick days or snow days. No working parent wants to get a call at work to be reminded to pick up his or her child at school.

Create an Area for Homework

Have a designated area for your child’s homework. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. If your child likes doing homework at the kitchen table, that’s fine.  Just make sure the area is free of clutter. Provide enough supplies, but also some peace and quiet for better concentration.

O2 Media’s Designing Spaces on Lifetime withJarrett Dornbusch

In Creative Arts, Home and Family, Media on April 23, 2012 at 6:56 pm
Designing Spaces

Designing Spaces

The following segment aired on Lifetime Television. Joining the show was Jarrett Dornbusch, a leader in outdoor design. Here, Jarrett allows our viewers a chance to see how he helps fix a couples’ backyard.

Host, David Jones: Okay Debie. How about a trip down memory lane.

Host, Debie Marie: Ahh-oh.

Host, David Jones: Now, don’t worry. We’re not going back that long ago. You visited a home where a backyard got the treatment. Remember?

Host, Debie Marie: Oh okay, yes. And there were fountains and outdoor furniture and a gazebo. You know, we really had a good time.

Host, David Jones: Well, I want you to see this so take a look.

Host, Debie Marie: Okay.

Host, David Jones: Does your backyard look like this?

Host, Debie Marie: Well, if this looks all too familiar, today’s show is perfect for you. We are going to show you how you can transform your backyard by yourself by just going to your local home store. We traveled to Douglasville, Georgia, a small and beautiful city just west of Atlanta. It’s home to the giant mailbox, Jolty’sJava and it’s also home to Amanda and Ryan.Hey guys. How’s it going?

Amanda: (The newlyweds are enjoying life together in their new home with their dog, Samson.) Well, we love living here. We love the house. My favorite room in the house is the living room. I like the columns that are in there. The fireplace, of course, is really nice. It’s cozy.

Ryan:I like the basement. We have a huge bar and projection screen T.V. We watch football games, events like that. It’s fun.

Marie:But although they are happy with the inside of their home, the backyard is a different story.

Amanda: Well, the backyard was defiantly one of the main reasons we bought the house. It was very like you said, open and spacious.

Ryan: We need lots of help back here.

Marie:Amanda and Ryan clearly need help in decorating their outdoor space. And to make things worse, they are planning a party tonight. And, where are you going to put everybody?

Ryan: Well, we don’t know just yet.

Designing Spaces: What would you say if I told you we could decorate this backyard where you could entertain everyone out here tonight?

Amanda: That would be great.

Ryan: That would.

Amanda: Yeah.

Ryan: Do you think we can get it done?

Designing Spaces: I think we can get it done. Backyard decorating is very important because it expands the living area to the home. One of the most popular trends is taking the inside out and the outside in. Jarrett Dornbusch is the head designer for Southern Patio. He has been a leader in outdoor design for over twenty-years. So Amanda and Ryan kind of waited to the last minute, but they are having people over tonight and they want to transform this backyard into an area where they can entertain. So is that something that you think you could help them with?

Jarrett Dornbusch: Absolutely, it is important that we give them everything they need for a party. Comfort, beauty, and functionality.

Designing Spaces: Okay and how would we do that? Like what types of things would you be able to supply?

Jarrett Dornbusch: We’ll, there are a few things, but again based on our trends of Earth, Wind, Fire. I will bring in a water feature. We will use some shade elements for the wind. We’ll use some nice planters and everything for the Earth.

Designing Spaces: They did mention they wanted some color, so that is good.

Jarrett Dornbusch: Yes, and we have a nice fire feature. A fire house, we would call it. And we’re going to set it up and make it a focal point.

Designing Spaces: Now, I know they are waiting until the last minute so they don’t have a lot of time. But normally the regular homeowner can go and get all of these supplies at their local home store. So you guys, this is a big project do you think you can handle this

Jarrett Dornbusch: Well, fortunately I brought a good team with me. So, yes.We are prepared. In here the wind chimes.

Designing Spaces: Jarrett shared his ideas for their backyard. Confident they were in good hands. They left to buy party supplies and to give the Southern Patio team time to work their magic. Jarrett, you did it. You pulled it off. This is beautiful.

Jarrett Dornbusch: Thank you.

Designing Spaces: I love this, now this is the focal point of what you were telling me before, the fire pit. Tell me a little bit about this.

Jarrett Dornbusch: Well, it’s all steel construction with MGo2, which is Magnesium Oxide and fiber glass mixed. It means it makes it fire proof.

Designing Spaces: I like that. Okay, this is great! So when you come out here if it’s maybe a cold night, they can sit down, they can put their feet up here that is going to make it very comfortable out here.

Jarrett Dornbusch: Absolutely. It gives off a great glow! And over here, we have a nice seating area that has one of our crank and tail solar umbrellas, so it’s got solar lights underneath it. It’s a nice night ambiance.

Designing Spaces: That is great. And in addition to that we have another table. They are going to be able to entertain because they were saying they BBQ and all their friends have to go inside. So now they have all this area over here. So tell me a little bit about it. You have a fountain over here, right?

Jarrett Dornbusch: Yes, we have a focus wall over here, which has a wall fountain on it with a concrete look. But everything is fiber glass products back there. We added a lot of color. We concentrated and we added a mixture of textures.

Designing Spaces: Yeah, you can and it really just brings out the warmth and it’s very comfortable looking. I think that is what they were going for as well. And we have another fountain over here, right?

Jarrett Dornbusch: Yes, this is a three tier fiber glass fountain that allows us to have the water feature and the water sound everywhere in the yard because you can hear it.

Designing Spaces: Yeah that is great. Okay, and then we have the gazebo over here. And you have the netting, so you could probably sit out here and not get bit by bugs.

Jarrett Dornbusch: Correct. Because it completely seals off. And it’s got nice water resistant fabric that you could sit out here even in the light rain.

Designing Spaces: And the shrubbery, I love the pots, the planters that you have out here. This is gorgeous. You know they are going to flip when they see this. I cannot wait for them to come home. Oh absolutely, I just hope they like it.

Amanda & Ryan: Oh My God.

Ryan: Oh wow. This looks amazing.

Amanda: I cannot believe this.

Designing Spaces: All in one day. That he did this. Okay, wait until you see this. Isn’t this gorgeous. Look at this your very own bar. Thanks to Jarrett and his design team at Southern Patio, the party was a success. There were tables and lights and lots of seating. The perfect space for an outdoor party. Southern Patio is the manufacture of all the products that you have seen here today. Their product line ranges from patio umbrellas and furniture to planters, outdoor speakers, wind-chimes, bird bath and bird feeders. Southern Patio products can be purchased at most major retailers across the country.

About Designing Spaces on Lifetime Television
The TV show is a half-hour informative series that inspires viewers to make every space count and instructs them on the smartest ways to make their homes more beautiful and functional.  To view a show online, just go to If you have a great idea for a story, or want to be a part of the show please contact LysaLiemer at

About O2 Media℠
Based in Pompano Beach, Fla., O2 Media℠ is a national television production company and pioneer of the branded entertainment industry. Since its inception O2 Media℠ has engaged, entertained and educated viewers with such reputable show as The Balancing Act, both airing on Lifetime Television. O2 Media℠ has earned hundreds of industry awards for revolutionizing the way brands engage with consumers on television. O2 Media℠ provides unmatched marketing value to its clients while producing quality content for its growing national viewership through Brandutainment®. Household brands and blue chip companies alike, continue to depend on O2 Media℠ for effectively communicating their message to consumers.  For more information, visit

CWD Construction Helps Renew Your House with a Makeover

In Home and Family, Real Estate on April 18, 2012 at 2:43 pm
CWD Construction

CWD Construction

CWD Constructionknows the lagging economy has forced many homeowners to stay in a house far longer than originally anticipated. The drop in home values, CWD Construction points out, has left many homeowners upside-down in mortgages, giving them no choice but to remain until the economy improves.

CWD Construction has addressed a widespread need in the market by helping homeowners renew their existing homes. Additionally, homebuyers with money to spend are finding great deals on fixer-uppers—homes that can be bought at a bargain in exchange for some renovation work. Because many individuals are not qualified to do this work on their own, CWD Construction offers custom home makeover work, helping restore homes that have fallen into disrepair.

According to CWD Construction, once a home has gone into foreclosure, it can sit empty for months. During that time, it falls into disrepair, a state that only adds to any damage that disgruntled residents might have done before vacating the premises, CWD Construction explains. CWD Construction begins by breathing life into vital living spaces with custom interior trim, new paint and flooring.

Once the living areas are renewed, CWD Construction turns its efforts to the bathroom, installing new showers with custom tile, new custom vanities with granite, and quality plumbing fixtures that make all the difference in a bathroom’s appearance. When it comes to bathroom projects, the team at CWD Construction works efficiently and quickly, always keeping in mind that the bathroom is a vital part of the household and needs to be in working condition as soon as possible.

The premier room in a house is the kitchen, and CWD Construction’s kitchen remodels are in high demand. With custom-built cabinetry that rivals those found in the most expensive luxury homes, CWD Construction turns the kitchen into a showplace. Services include granite countertops, exciting tile backsplashes, and upgraded plumbing fixtures. CWD Construction can even add a beautiful custom mantle surround at the cooktop and a custom work island.

Finish off the project of turning a fixer-upper into the home of your dreams by adding a fireplace or screened-in porch, both services CWD Construction provides. When you work with CWD Construction, you’ll get the services of its in-house interior designer, Sonia Dohm, to help you pick out the fixtures, flooring, and paint colors that will best express your personal style.

Sonia and Chuck Dohm are available to work with customers to determine if CWD Construction can help turn a fixer-upper into a dream home, even before a purchase has been made. For more information, visit CWD Construction online at

Incredible Discoveries on Lifetime with Lori Leeland

In Home and Family, Marketing, Technology on March 6, 2012 at 12:50 pm
Incredible Discoveries

Incredible Discoveries

The following segment aired on Incredible Discoveries on Lifetime Television. Joining Incredible Discoveries was Lori Leeland, to discuss Hamilton Beach True Air Ultra UV Air Purifier

Incredible Discoveries on Lifetime Television:
Germs are everywhere in your home. Every day dirt, dust, dust-mite debris, mold spores, smoke, pet dander, pollen, and other allergens fill the air all around us. But now you can do something to help keep a cleaner and happier home. Incredible Discoveries introduces The Hamilton Beach True Air Ultra UV Air Purifier, which purifies the air around you.

With a digital display, a 2-stage air filtration and Hamilton Beach True Air Ultra UV Air Purifier germicidal light, this 3 way air treatment system is effective at removing a wide range of impurities from the air including pet dander, pollen, dust mite debris, mold spores, smoke, and more! Incredible Discoveries will show you how it even takes cooking odors out of the air. Like bacon cooking in the morning, it removes the smell within a few minutes. Incredible Discoveries agrees that you won’t have that smell throughout the house the rest of the day.

Incredible Discoveries learns about the Airsmart system and special Hamilton Beach True Air Ultra UV Air Purifier germicidal light from Lori Leeland. Leeland, from Hamilton Beach Laboratory, provides Incredible Discoveries with a scenario of the product’s benefits.

Incredible Discoveries: You hear so much about outdoor air pollution that I don’t think anyone realizes that indoor air pollution can also be a huge problem.

Leeland: Yes, it is a serious problem. With the Hamilton Beach True Air Ultra UV Air Purifier I can show you how dirty indoor air really is. By putting the Hamilton Beach True Air Ultra UV Air Purifier in different rooms in a newly built home for thirty days, you will be amazed of what we’re going to find.

Seen on Incredible Discoveries:
A home was built two years ago and as soon as the Hamilton Beach True Air was plugged in and set to “auto”, it registered “poor air quality”. It would be hard to imagine the air in an older house, compared to this one, built two years prior. The owner placed the Air Purifier in the baby’s room and placed the settings on “auto”. The air quality read “poor”. Right away, the fan sped up and cleaned the entire room within 15 minutes. The air quality status then registered “good”.

When it was first turned on, the status bar was maxed out. It was impossible to know that air was that bad. After turning it on and letting it run for a couple hours, the status moved all the way to “clear”. Incredible Discoveries agrees that the filter actually cleans the air in the room and makes it seem brighter and cleaner.

Incredible Discoveries: I am amazed at all the positive effects that this little system exhibits. The Hamilton Beach True Air Ultra UV Air Purifier is truly the solution to air purification in your home! Air is something we sometimes take for granted. It’s very easy for Incredible Discoveries viewers not to be proactive and take the steps needed to clean something that they don’t really see. Incredible Discoveries observes that more and more people are worried about the quality of the air that why and their family breathe with impurities in the air these days, like pollen, dust, pet dander, and smoke.

Leeland: With the true air ultra UV air purifier, it’s so easy. Just plug it in and watch it actually purify your air within a 200 square foot area! It’s perfect for your home, condo, apartment, family room, bedroom, home office, or basement. The space saving design fits into any home décor and allows for placement against a wall for discrete operation.

Incredible Discoveries is a marketing firm focusing on direct response infomercial production and online presence development. Incredible Discoveries is a division of O2 Media, Inc., and produces The Balancing Act, one of O2’s most successful shows, airing daily on Lifetime. In addition to Incredible Discoveries’ 43,000 sq.ft. production facility, the firm offers full post production capabilities to tweak and refine their high quality television marketing campaigns. Incredible Discoveries offers a unique and fresh approach to the industry and through its 20 years of experience has created partnerships with some of the world’s leading manufacturers.

The Balancing Act on Lifetime with Shawn Nelson

In Creative Arts, Home and Family, Lifestyle on January 12, 2012 at 3:16 pm
The Balancing Act Lifetime

The Balancing Act Lifetime

The following segment originally aired on the national TV show, The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television. The featured guest was furniture designer, Shawn Nelson to explain his revolutionary furniture line called ‘LoveSac’.

The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television host Danielle Knox: I am sitting on this comfortable sofa with Shawn Nelson, a man whose unique vision is revolutionizing the face of furniture today.  The LoveSac is a great piece of furniture. Did you just wake up one day and say ‘I want to make an oversized beanbag chair? What is the story behind it?

Shawn: The whole company started because I was 18 years old and thought it would be funny to make the world’s biggest beanbag.

The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television: You were 18 years old?

Shawn: I went out and bought the fabric, took it home, cut it up and sewed it up.  I started filling it with everything soft that I could find. And when I finally got it done and took it out and used it, everyone seemed to want one.

The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television: It’s interesting because did you ever fancy yourself a furniture designer?

Shawn: No. I actually left the country for two years to go be a missionary, came back to finish university and started using the ‘Sac’ again. Once again, everybody wanted to buy one. So I started this little company and we started selling them out of a van and making them in the basement for three or four years. Also at home shows, boat shows, car shows.  Finally I got an order for 12,000 units at this big trade show.

The Balancing Act Lifetime Television: With no big company behind you?

Shawn: Yes, with just me and my buddies. So we built a factory on credit cards and in order to keep that factory alive when we finished that order, we opened our first retail store at a mail in Salt Lake City in 2001. Since then it’s been a few years and we have 25 locations around the country in shopping malls from L.A to New York City.

The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television: So, you’re in a store and you have the LoveSac, sitting next to a sofa.  Just so people can get an idea of how it flows and fits into a room. Then what happens?

Shawn: In the very first store, it was set up like a living room and people kept trying to buy the sofa. So I spent five years trying to develop a sofa that we could actually carry in stock, deliver it in a box and  it would be really easy to assemble.  I wanted to be able to make all kinds of different furniture configurations and make it machine-washable and that is what we did.  We called these pieces, ‘sactionals.’

The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television: Can you explain to The Balancing Act Viewers how this furniture works and what the options are?

Shawn:  I am going to show you how it works. I am going to take that chair, change its covers, make a completely different color chair and then we’re going to build some other things out of it as well.

The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television: well that sounds like a tall order. Let’s check it out.

Shawn: So go ahead and have a seat on the arm because people are going to do that. What you’re sitting on is a completely machine-washable chair.  Every piece of this can just be peeled off and changed out.  Actually, this chair was built from just two components.   Three sides and one base make an armchair in ‘sactionals.’

The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television: Boy that’s awesome! Now, because you have talked about machine washable a lot of times, I’d like to see how we take these off and wash them.

Shawn: And you can also just change the covers if you get tired of a certain color.

The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television: Let’s do it.

Shawn: Just move these cushions out of the way, go ahead and grab that black strap, yank it and now we can take these pieces and build whatever we want out of them.  We can add another piece on, but first we can change the covers.

The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television: Okay, and let’s build something bigger.

Shawn: Okay, with just a few bases and sides, you can literally build anything you want with no tools required, no talent, and you can change the covers as often as you like.  There are lots of different fabrics, colors, whatever you like.

The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television: So where can The Balancing Act viewers find out more information?

Shawn: You can just go to or there might be a store near you. Otherwise you can order anything you want off the website.

The Balancing Act Lifetime Television is the only morning show in America produced by women specifically for women. Every morning, The Balancing Act on Lifetime hosts Danielle Knox and Kristy Villa tackle the issues that face today’s woman. Popular show segments include Live weather updates with Mark Mancuso, surprise celebrity visitors, and news about the latest trends affecting your life, home, career and family. The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television airs daily on Lifetime at 7 a.m. ET/PT. For more information, visit The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television’s website at

Presentation Solutions Interviews Nancy Alcorn | The Changing Nature of Teen Addiction and Self-Harming

In Home and Family, Professionals on May 10, 2011 at 4:30 pm
Nancy Alcorn

Nancy Alcorn

Presentation Solutions recently spoke with Nancy Alcorn of Mercy Ministries.  Nancy Alcorn began her career working with young women in the Tennessee Department of Corrections.  Mercy Ministries is a non-profit founded by Nancy Alcorn that works with young women helping them find hope and restoration.  Nancy Alcorn is the author of several popular books on these subjects including the “Mercy For” series that deals directly with eating disorders, self-harm, addiction, and sexual abuse.  As well, Nancy Alcorn is a sought-after conference and event speaker.  In this interview, Nancy Alcorn discusses the alarming rise in self-harm among young women.

Presentation Solutions:  First off, welcome to our readership Nancy Alcorn.  It is a pleasure to speak with you today.  We know you are busy with Mercy Ministries and your speaking schedule.

Nancy Alcorn:  I appreciate your time and help in getting the message out there on behalf of young women in need at Mercy.

Presentation Solutions:  On a personal, professional note, you left the Department of Corrections after several years of work with female juveniles. Why?

Nancy Alcorn:  It was because I realized that true-life change in the lives of young women would never come in the form of a government program.  True-life change only happens through the power of Jesus Christ.

Presentation Solutions:  And it’s true that you saw some juvenile delinquents go through government programs, only to enter a corrections facility as an adult?

Nancy Alcorn:  That is true.  Again, true-life change does not come from a program.  True-life change is spiritual in nature.  Jesus Christ, His power, His grace, His unending love and mercy, can transform lives.  We as people, as counselors and teachers are simply a conduit for His power.

Presentation Solutions:  Self-harm.  All studies point to this as a major issue for young women.  Talk to us about the statistics.

Nancy Alcorn:  Last year, the number of young women seeking help from self-harm doubled.

Presentation Solutions:  Unbelievable.  Can you define for our readers what self-harm is?

Nancy Alcorn:  Self-harm is often referred to as self-injuring or cutting.  It is a deliberative and repetitive behavior of harming the body impulsively.  Most of the time, in our experience at Mercy Ministries, the young women are injuring themselves secretively and therefore it can be difficult to detect.

Presentation Solutions:  You have written a book on this specific topic, correct?

Nancy Alcorn:  I have.

Presentation Solutions:  What are some signs and symptoms that parents, family and friends may witness in a young woman who is dealing with this dark issue?

Nancy Alcorn:  Well first off, you said the work dark.  We see it only as “dark” from a spiritual side.  Darkness seeks to destroy the lives of these young women.  At Mercy Ministries we know that the light of Jesus Christ can free anyone, any young woman from any bondage, including cutting.

Presentation Solutions:  And Nancy Alcorn and Mercy Ministries use biblically based counseling and curriculum to help those dealing with self-harm.

Nancy Alcorn:  Yes, we do.  And we do it free of charge to the young women.  Because again, we know that this is spiritual warfare.  Self-harm is not the issue, that something that is driving the girl to self-harm is the issue.  So we know that the power of God’s grace and unconditional love can help these young women overcome addictions and past hurts.

Presentation Solutions:  Outstanding.  So again, Nancy Alcorn, help our readers understand the symptoms and signs of self-harm.

Nancy Alcorn:  Typically the cutting will be in an area that is not exposed.  Sometimes young women respond to certain situations that are unexpected or respond to pressure situations with constant scratching.  Or a young woman may continually pick the same scab, thereby preventing it from healing.

Presentation Solutions:  But Nancy Alcorn, how can family or friends see this kind of hurt, if it is often in private where a young girl is harming herself?

Nancy Alcorn:  You have to be aware and observe.  If you notice a young woman who seems to always have burns or severe bruises on her forearms, or someone who is biting the inside of their mouth with purpose, or appears to have patches of missing or thinning hair; then there is a potential victim of self-harm.  Or it could be abuse. Either way, we have to pay attention and observe.

Presentation Solutions:  Nancy Alcorn, thank you for your time today.  On behalf of our many readers we continue to be thankful for Mercy Ministries.  Presentation Solutions wants to encourage your supporters to pray for Nancy Alcorn and Mercy Ministries.  As well, we encourage our readers to partner with you in any way they can.

Nancy Alcorn:  Thank you so much.  Those prayers are felt.

Nancy Alcorn is the Founder and President of Mercy Ministries.  Working with over 3000 women since 1983, Nancy Alcorn and Mercy Ministries help restore the lives of young women.  Mercy Ministries utilizes nutritionists, licensed Christian counselors and a biblically-based curriculum with the emphasis that true freedom from addiction and life-controlling issues is possible.  All of this is free of charge for the women.  According to Nancy Alcorn, in a recent survey of former Mercy Ministries graduates, 93 percent responded that Mercy Ministries six-month residential counseling program had transformed their lives and restored their hope.

About Nancy Alcorn

During her five years working for the state of Tennessee, at a correctional facility for juvenile delinquent girls, Nancy Alcorn developed a passion to impact the lives of hurting young women.  Time and time again, Nancy Alcorn watched as the young women she worked with at the juvenile facility passed the age of eighteen and ended up in the women’s prison system because they never got the real help they needed.

During the next three years, as Nancy Alcorn investigated child abuse cases for the state of Tennessee, she saw firsthand why so many of these young women were angry and hurting.  Working with juvenile delinquent girls and investigating alleged cases of child abuse gave Nancy Alcorn the opportunity to interact directly with secular rehabilitation programs and the girls impacted by those programs. It was during this time that Nancy Alcorn realized that these programs were not producing permanent results that exemplified changed lives.

Following her tenure with the state, Nancy Alcorn accepted an appointment as Director of Women for the Nashville Teen Challenge.  Through all of these experiences, Nancy Alcorn began to realize that true transformation would never come as the result of any government system.  Nancy Alcorn understood that only Jesus could bring restoration into the lives of girls who were desperately hurting and searching for something to fill the void they felt in their hearts.

Nancy Alcorn began to sense that God was unfolding a plan prompting her to step out in faith.  God called Nancy Alcorn to help hurting young women find freedom and have their lives transformed.  With her experience to assist her and God to guide her, Nancy Alcorn would prayerfully make a giant step of faith to help hurting young women.

In January of 1983, Nancy Alcorn relocated to Monroe, Louisiana and established Mercy Ministries of America.  Nancy Alcorn was determined that the Mercy Ministries program would bring about true-life change in the lives of young women.  With that in mind, Nancy Alcorn knew there were three guiding principles to which she must always remain faithful.  First, Nancy Alcorn committed that Mercy Ministries would accept girls free of charge.  Second, Nancy Alcorn committed that Mercy Ministries would donate ten percent of all donations to other organizations and ministries.  Third, Nancy Alcorn made the decision that Mercy Ministries would never accept any state or federal funding.  In no way did Nancy Alcorn want any money that might interfere with the freedom to share Christ.

Since 1983, Mercy Ministries, under the leadership of Nancy Alcorn, has seen exponential growth and impact.  Establishing locations in Louisiana, Tennessee, Missouri and California, Nancy Alcorn has seen her God-sized dream impact numerous women ages 13 to 28.  Nancy Alcorn has seen Mercy Ministries grow beyond the borders of the United States with home in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Canada.

Nancy Alcorn and Mercy Ministries help young women seeking freedom from physical and sexual abuse (including sex trafficking), eating disorders, self-harm, drug and alcohol addiction, depression and unplanned pregnancy.  Mercy Ministries, with Nancy Alcorn serving as Founder and President, assists young women through a non-conventional approach to healing that allows them to stop and break destructive cycles of behavior.  Nancy Alcorn continues her commitment to helping young women recognize their self-worth and reach their full potential.

For more information about the services offered by Nancy Alcorn and Mercy Ministries, visit the Mercy website online at

Yochanan Berkowitz Discusses the Fundamentals of Skiing

In Home and Family on December 4, 2010 at 5:58 am

Growing up in the northeast, Yochanan Berkowitz has developed an appreciation for the outdoor sport of skiing.  Yochanan Berkowitz reports that skiing can offer an exhilarating release for someone that has a lot on his or her mind. The sport brings a skiier in direct congress with nature, says Yochanan Berkowitz, as he or she travels over the snowy expanses of open land.

Yochanan Berkowitz points out, however, that skiing is a sport with a higher learning curve than many others. To ski well requires training and practice, says Yochanan Berkowitz, and some brief formal instruction is necessary as well. The key element of skiing, says Yochanan Berkowitz, is maintaining balance. Balance is best maintained, says Yochanan Berkowitz, by mastering the correct stance.

According to Yochanan Berkowitz, the correct skiing posture involves standing with feet shoulder width apart and toes pointing slightly inward, drawing the heels slightly apart. The next step is to bend the waist, instructs Yochanan Berkowitz, and fan the arms out slightly to lower the center of gravity. Body weight should be evenly distributed, notes Yochanan Berkowitz, on the heels and the balls of the feet. This balanced stance, says Yochanan Berkowitz, is the best way to maintain control and speed while skiing.

Yochanan Berkowitz suggests practicing this stance at home prior to putting on ski gear. When it comes to controlling yourself on your skis, says Yochanan Berkowitz, it’s all in the feet. Wherever direction the feet are turned, explains Yochanan Berkowitz, is where the skis will go. Before shoving off, Yochanan Berkowitz suggests lifting one leg at a time and turning the feet gently to the left and to the right. This exercise will get a skier used to the encumbrance and responsiveness of the skis, instructs Yochanan Berkowitz. Being strapped into skis is not a natural position for the feet, explains Yochanan Berkowitz, and it is best to spend some time getting used to this before tackling any runs.

About Yochanan Berkowitz

Yochanan Berkowitz began his professional studies in Psychology at Queens College in Flushing, New York. In 1994, Yochanan Berkowitz earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and following further studies Yochanan Berkowitz was awarded a Masters of Clinical Social Work. Later Yochanan Berkowitz received the designation of a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

During his studies at Queens College, Yochanan Berkowitz had the opportunity to employ his passion for helping others in the New York City Public Schools as a special Education Instructor in Brooklyn from 1993-1994. Yochanan Berkowitz also served for several years as a school Psychologist and Social Worker with the Brooklyn Board of Education. Several years were also spent doing an internship in social work at Maimonides Psychiatric Outpatient in Brooklyn.

In 1997, Yochanan Berkowitz became a certified school social worker and school Psychologist following studies at the Long Island University. Yochanan Berkowitz received his Masters of Clinical Social Work two years later from New York University. Completing additional studies in his chosen field, Yochanan Berkowitz obtained a Post Masters certification in Early Childhood and Adolescence Psychotherapy in 2000 and Gestalt Therapy certification from the Gestalt Association of Psychotherapy in New York City in 2002.

Yochanan Berkowitz used his experience to serve in Brooklyn as an outpatient social worker, MSW, CSW at the New Hope Guild from 1999-2000. Yochanan Berkowitz added breadth to his vocational opportunities while serving as Administrative Assistant, MSW, and LMSW at Fordham Tremont Center in Bronx, New York during the years of 2003-2004. While there, Yochanan Berkowitz began offering his skills as a Clinical Social Worker, MSW, and CSW at the Jewish Board of Family & Children Services in Brooklyn New York.

The years 2004 and 2005 found Yochanan Berkowitz at the Bikur Cholim Department of Clinical Services in Rockland, New York where he was the Administrative Director, MSW, and LMSW. Currently Yochanan Berkowitz maintains a private practice in Teaneck, New Jersey that primarily serves children, adolescents, couples, and families.

To contact Yochanan Berkowitz by telephone, call 646-338-5424. Yochanan Berkowitz can also be reached via email at For more information about his private practice visit

JS Properties, LLC Recommends Murfreesboro Tennessee

In Home and Family, Real Estate on September 7, 2010 at 3:07 pm

Joyce Smotherman, owner and founder of JS Properties, LLC, is an active member of the Murfreesboro community. JS Properties, LLC notes that the geographic placement of Murfreesboro is one of its greatest assets.  This growing city is situated at the geographic center of Tennessee, with convenient access to all three of the region’s major interstates.  Interstate 24 travels directly through town, while Interstates 40 and 65 are a few short miles away.  These highway thoroughfares, adds JS Properties, LLC, make it easy to move people and resources through the city.  Additionally, Murfreesboro’s accessible placement on the interstate system gives the city easy access to major metropolitan markets like Nashville, Birmingham and St. Louis.

Murfreesboro has more to offer than simply accessible freeways. Commercial and residential real estate exploded in the 1990s and that has had a major impact on the Middle Tennessee region. JS Properties, LLC offers information to home buyers, commercial clients and those considering leasing real estate in the Middle Tennessee area about the wealth of opportunities available here. JS Properties, LLC also offers property management services to parties interested in renting out their properties. JS Properties, LLC points out that Murfreesboro is also a center of learning and culture.

Middle Tennessee State University, located in Murfreesboro, provides a variety of quality educational opportunities, adds JS Properties, LLC. MTSU offers a large music program and its School of Music presents the Main Street Jazzfest every year.

Joyce Smotherman of JS Properties, LLC states that Murfreesboro is home to several museums and historical sites. The Discovery Center at Murfree Spring has numerous exhibits and activities for children as well as a wetlands area with a nature trail, adds JS Properties, LLC. Stones River National Battlefield and Museum is a tribute to the Civil War Battle of Stones River fought from December 31, 1862 through January 3, 1863. A greenway system was developed several years ago giving the citizens of Murfreesboro a place to hike, bike, jog, fish or picnic. It is a wonderful addition to the area and a great place for anyone who wants to get out and enjoy nature.

JS Properties, LLC contends that with so much history and diversity, it’s no wonder so many people flock to Murfreesboro, making it a vibrant and thriving community with enormous possibilities for businesses, families and students alike. In conclusion, JS Properties, LLC says that anyone interested in a welcoming residential environment accompanied by up-and-coming commerce and culture should consider the community of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Care Tips from SMART Carpet | Vacuuming Carpets

In Home and Family on September 2, 2010 at 12:35 pm

The reason why the SMART Carpet sales team talks so much about vacuuming as a carpet care tip is that it’s an important preventive measure. A clean carpet has a longer life.

The experienced professionals at SMART Carpet, which offers a full line of carpet and flooring services to both residential and business customers in New Jersey, Staten Island and eastern Pennsylvania, advise all SMART Carpet customers to target high-traffic areas with frequent vacuuming.

It’s important to be thorough, going over the same swatch several times before moving on, adds the SMART Carpet installation team. If dry soil is not removed, the particles can actually damage individual carpet fibers, causing visible wear, explains SMART Carpet. This is why SMART Carpet sales people go so far as to remind customers to change the direction in which they move the vacuum.

Other carpet care advice from SMART Carpet includes tips about the vacuum itself. After making a large investment in new carpet for your home, SMART Carpet experts encourage homeowners to invest in a good vacuum to take care of it properly. Less powerful machines may pick up surface dirt, says the SMART Carpet team, but they are unable to suction soil that has worked down into the pile. In fact, adds SMART Carpet, the carpet pile should stand upright after vacuuming. According to the SMART Carpet experts, this is visible proof that the carpet is not matting.

The vacuums that most SMART Carpet staff use are machines with either rotating brushes or brushes combined with beater bars. These vacuums will loosen soil by agitating the carpet, explain the professionals at SMART Carpet, which makes it easier for the particles to be sucked up. Follow all manufacturers recommendations, advise the SMART Carpet experts, especially when it comes to frequency of bag replacement.