Sunday, December 7, 2014

Try These Skin Care Tips To Beat The Dry Season Away!

It’s that time of the year again, which isn’t at all easy; for our skin, hair and nails that is. The cold, and harsh weather paired with extreme levels of dryness can really affect and leave us a little worse for wear. Add indoor heating to the mix, and your skin will be left even more starved of moisture, as the protective layers crack and dry, making repair work impossible. That doesn’t mean you can’t prevent the inevitable from happening, or at least aid in the treatment by following these easy winter care tips that cover head to toe!

Our Number One Enemy, Dry Skin

To cure dry skin, add a few drops of grape seed or olive oil in your bathwater before taking a soak. The other alternative is to apply a thin layer of the same oil, onto your body after the bath or shower. 

Red and irritated skin can feel better from oatmeal infused bath, as strange as it may sound. For extremely damaged skin, opt for Vaseline instead of any other regular lotion and apply a thick layer within three minutes from stepping out of the bath.

Red Noses Are Embarrassing

The reason why our noses turn red like a tomato in winters is because when in the cold weather outside, blood circulation is stopped to the nose. The vessels dilate fast, when we come back in the warmth, which causes a rush of blood to the nose. 

There is no reason to look like Rudolph, the reindeer anymore. To brink a normal hue to your nose apply a warm water compress to it for a few minutes. If suffering from a winter cold, opt for extra soft tissues and make sure not to rub the nose for that will only irritate the skin further. Throughout the day keep applying a thin layer of ointment to keep the sensitive area moisturized.

Deal With Itchy And Dry Scalp

Once every week or specifically before taking a cool shower,massage in some vitamin E, coconut or olive oil and wash the hair with an anti dandruff shampoo. Tea tree oil is also a good substitute for replenishing the oils naturally present in the scalp. 

Brittle Nails Are Unhealthy

In winters, you may have noticed that the nails on your hands and feet are more susceptible to breaking. This is because; the dry air sponges the moisture, leaving nails delicate and brittle. Brittle nails are easy to treat; all you have to do before going to bed is apply olive oil or any lotion containing lanolin on your nails. For more effectiveness, put on gloves and socks to trap the moisture.

What To Do With Static-Y Hair

Come winter and your hair starts to resemble a haystack, that won’t stay neatly inside a hat however hard you try! The long standing tip to battle static in hair is conditioner and loads of it. 

If static is still a problem, consider purchasing brushes with natural bristles which produce less static than its plastic counterpart. Change your head gear to cotton hats.

With these winter skin tips in mind, you’ll be sure to breeze through the cold season without any problem!


Cyber Monday – the Aftermath


Cyber Monday as we all are very well aware of is the Monday that comes after the Thanksgiving holiday. The term itself was created by marketing companies in a bid to promote online shopping, and like every year, much hype and expectation was placed on the day this year too.

The deals offered on Cyber Monday are online only, by those retailers who cannot possibly compete with the giants, but have an amazing playing field in cyber world. The day as opposed to Black Friday generally offers majority of deals in fashion retail.

The Day After Cyber Monday For Online Shoppers

This year, Cyber Monday proved to be a game changer, and attracted shoppers far more than was expected particularly after a weekend prior that saw very few people shopping in stores. One of the reasons for this might be because shoppers have had more chances to get deals throughout the week, making this a weeklong online shopping fiesta. 

The holiday season is not yet over, and it has been predictedwhat with promotions and deals spread out across the whole of December that shoppers will continue to spend long after the initial sugar rush. To entice shoppers, Wal-Mart doubled the number of promotions for Cyber Monday, and the number will continue to grow throughout the rest of the holiday season. 

Shoppers Have The Luxury To Wait And See

The best thing about deals is yet to come! Now, shoppers can postpone their Christmas shopping, and still end up with amazing, and money saving deals and promotions online. At the rate this season has been going, people are more willing to wait out for the best deals and promotions, because they can!

This is largely due to the stellar performance of some retail stores, which came out on top of their class from Sunday, and throughout the day after cyber Monday. The retail stores listed here are the ones to look out for closely as the time for Christmas rolls around the corner.

The Top Online Stores To Put Up A Show Come Christmas

Since these stores showcased a bucket load of popular offers and sales this cyber week, there is a very good chance that they’ll want to extend them for Christmas! Fingers crossed.

Google Play: Is best for landing on the best freebie deals, for those who have over stretched and exhausted their wallets on Black Friday madness. 

Home Depot:  Ideal for the do it yourself aficionados, who don’t mind a trip to the local home depot store to collect the spoils of your endeavors. 

Ralph Lauren: Is best for the high flyers of fashion that are looking to get the best deals on high quality inner and outer wear

Boscov’sIdeal for the hard savers who are looking to land on kitchen items, offers of discounted dishes to cheap cookware and other items. 

So, keep your eyes open for yet more online shopping madness!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

5 Must Have Kitchen Tools

By: May Gayle Mengert, AMS

The kitchen is an essential part of every household and you have to admit, regular upgrading of this area in the house is not only fun, but practical as well. With a number of new tools and appliances coming into the market regularly, it becomes hard to decide what to get. 

       May Gayle Mengert

I have compiled a list of five must-have appliances and devices for your kitchen:

1. The Trio Peeler

What else could a peeler do except peel? This is the thought that comes to mind when one first reads this term. However, you must have noticed that your single purpose peeler may be good with peeling potatoes and apples, but is not that efficient when it comes to peeling tomatoes

The Trio peeler is the perfect solution for peeling all sorts of fruits and vegetables whether they are hard or soft. The third function of this special peeler is that it juliennes as well! Now wouldn’t you want to have this in your kitchen? 

2. The Rotating Potato Masher

Potatoes the that type of food that is commonly used in every house. You may be a vegetarian or not, but potatoes will still be part of the menu at home. Doesn’t it get tiring to keep pounding potatoes to get them mashed?

Of course it does, which is why the rotating potato masher is a must-have! This essential tool simply requires you to use the palm of your hand to rotate a plastic/rubber or silicone based fan like head. It not only creates a wonderful mash in less time, but it requires minimum effort!

3. The Zyliss Five Way Opener

Why have a separate can opener and a bottle cap opener? The five way opener allows you to perform five “opening” functions in one, simple device. 

• Soda Can Pop Top Pull Up
• Bottle Cap Opener
• Unsealing of Machine-tightened bottle caps
• Pull Tabs Opener
• Unseals food cans or jars
4. The Tea Swizzle

Don’t you enjoy the flavor of tea made by teabags as much as open tea? This is the solution for you! Some of the best tea leaves are homegrown and come in loose packs. 

No need to worry anymore, as the tea swizzle will let you enjoy a perfect cup of loose tea! Or even if you want to mix two different types of tea leaves, this is the best way to do it!

5. The Perfect Paring Knife

This knife is perfect for both simple cutting tasks, thanks to the easy to use handle, and difficult chopping duties. This single paring knife performs the functions of three different knives depending on your needs and requirements. Mincing, chopping, peeling, coring, shaping and trimming! You name it and this single device will do it for you! 

Adding these tools to your kitchen will not only make your daily tasks easier to perform, but these tools actually look good in your kitchen as well!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Paul Mengert, President of AMG on Living in Smaller Spaces

Downsizing Your Living Space

Moving from a large place to a small place for living can be both tiring and saddening. This kind of move makes you realize that you have to let go of a number of things that you had and used in your large house or apartment.

This is definitely not an easy task, as most of us are left in a quandary when it comes to deciding what you need in your new space. Here are few strategies you could use when it comes to downsizing your living space. 

Can You Live Without It?

Ask yourself if you can manage a life without that mountain terrain bicycle you bought while you were living in your open, large space. Now that you have moved to a small apartment in the city, do you really need that bicycle? Why not go to the gym close to your home to burn the extra calories, instead?

Go through all the items and furniture you own and ask yourself one question, how many times have you used it? Be honest with yourself. This way, you will end up with a number of things that you realize you don’t really need. 

Keeping Your New Space Clutter Free

Clutter is something that tends to accumulate with time and sometimes, tags along when you are moving to a smaller living space. Before moving, make sure you get rid of all the unnecessary clutter lying around the house. Free samples of the perfume you got at a promotion in the mall, kits from your hotels while you were travelling, unnecessary paperwork and mail, you need to get rid of all these things! 

Avoid taking freebies from fairs or promotions or make a habit of donating these things to those in need instead of taking themhome. Do not leave it for “later”!

Hybrid Furniture

Hybrid furniture is the type of furniture that serves more than one purpose. This is a sound investment when it comes to downsizing your living space. If you do not have a guest room, try buying a sofa cum bed as it will not only serve the purpose of a comfortable couch but will also attribute to an extra bed when the need arises. 

If you have enough space for a single table, get one that can double up as an office table, coffee table or meal table. Depending on the storage spaces, use multipurpose organizer drawers keys, bags, ties, etc. 

Sell The Unnecessary 

If you have a large number of items that you do not need when you move out, consider having a small yard sale. These days, instead of having a physical sale, you can easily upload the items you want on websites like eBay and Craiglist to generate a better sale. A number of people will pay a good amount of money for collectible items and antique furniture that you have to get rid of. However, make sure you have a good description and a reliable payment option once you post your advertisement online!



Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Protect Pets—and Common Areas—from Parasites

Dogs and cats can be great companions, but they also can carry fleas, ticks and parasites into your home and our community. Infestations can spread quickly through a community when flea-infested carpeting or pet bedding is disposed of improperly, when a flea-infested pet plays with your pet and when pet waste is left uncollected on common areas. 

Help avoid harmful pests in your home and community with the following tips, and follow up with your veterinarian to learn more about other ways to prevent and treat outbreaks.


· Apply a topical flea and tick pesticide. Fleas lay 40 to 50 eggs a day. Unless a pesticide kills 95 percent of the fleas, you won’t eliminate the problem. To do this, you need to use the products sold by your veterinarian. Over-the-counter products just aren’t strong or effective enough. Monthly applications will help keep pets healthy even when they’re exposed to parasites—including mosquitos and mites.


· Always leash your pet. Although you may trust your pets to obey commands, keeping them leashed lessens the likelihood they’ll be infected by other pets and wildlife.


· Keep your pet clean. Even indoor pets should be inspected for ticks and flea “dirt,” which looks like pepper at the base of the coat on the skin. An occasional bath with flea shampoo is a good idea as well. Visit your local pet store or grooming facility or check online for information on bathing routines and options that are best for your pet.


· Monitor your pet’s behavior. Scratching is your first indication that fleas have discovered your dog or cat. Apply a topical pesticide immediately. Fleas, ticks and mosquitos carry potentially life threatening pathogens, so pets can experience a wide range of symptoms if infected; be suspicious of changes in behavior and discuss them promptly with your veterinarian.


· Keep the situation contained. Once you’ve treated your pet and your home (and possibly your yard or outdoor surroundings depending on how severe the infestation), keep the pet close to home until the problem is resolved. Wash bedding and toys that may harbor eggs or larvae in hot water. Infested bedding or carpeting should be tightly sealed in plastic bags before disposing to reduce risk of spreading to others.

Paul Mengert, President

Association Management Group, Inc. (AMG)

Sunday, October 5, 2014

See You Later, Summer!

It’s that time of year—you’re exchanged your swimsuit for sweaters and scarves just in time to roll up your sleeves and prepare you home for cooler weather. As we watch summer fade into the sunset, consider adding the following items to your winterization checklist, and ensure your home is in tip-top shape for the fall and winter seasons.

    Paul K. Mengert, Association Manager & Trainer    
    Association Management Group, Inc.

    Greensboro, NC


◾️ Update your window treatments. Summer’s venetian blinds and sheer curtain panels won’t keep the frigid air from creeping in on a cold night. Consider switching to a denser curtain fabric for the winter months to keep your home feeling cozy and keep heating bills low.


◾️ Schedule appliance check-ups. Your HVAC system, air ducts and hot water heater should be checked by a licensed professional to ensure all elements are in good shape for the change in weather—especially if any appliances worked overtime during summer months.


◾️ Don’t forget the attic. Check for leaks in the roof, possible cracks in attic windows and insufficient insulation. With the help of a licensed professional or advice from your local home improvement store staff, you can shield your attic from harsh weather. We recommend checking with the BBB (


◾️ Replace weather stripping. Doors and windows need extra help to hold heat inside your home. Inspect all door and window perimeters for cracks or tears in your current weather stripping. You also can add a second layer of protection with temporary weather stripping applied overtop your existing seals.


◾️ Deep clean and declutter. Thoroughly clean your home’s nooks and crannies inside and out. Ensure electrical cords, outlets and air vents are dust- and clutter-free; tidy up garages and storage areas; and clear any debris from your home’s exterior, especially around vents and drains.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Converting Your Home into a Senior-Friendly Residence

Are your parents moving into your home due to their old age? Do you wanto modify their existing home to suit their currenthealth needs? No matter what the reason, here is how you canconvert an existing residence into a senior-friendly abode:

Easy to Open Hardware

Although you may not have any issues turning a doorknob, but it is quite possible that your aging parents may feel pain when they twist the knob to open the door, especially if they are suffering from arthritis or other similar conditionsReplace yourtraditional door locks with level styled hardware that is easy to open. Levers also work best on faucets in place of twisting taps and rather than opting for toggle light switches, choose rocker switches that are illuminated at night so that your parents and other aged people can easily access the switches.

Firm Footing Floors

Slippery floors can be dangerous in a home where elderly people reside. This is why you need to install flooring that is slip-proof. You can add firmly placed mats or rugs on the floor if you do not want to modify the entire flooring. You will also need to eliminate all those spots where people may trip accidently. Thresholds, and thick carpets can be quite a hindrance for those elderly people who need to use a walker, and they will also be a cause for tripping for other aged persons.

Staircase Safety

Ideally, elderly people should be moved into a residence that is only on the ground level so that they will be able to avoidclimbing the stairs completely. However, if that is to possible,handrails should be installed on both sides of the stairs, theedges of each step should be carefully marked and plenty oflighting should be installed the stairwell so that your parents or other elderly people will be able to climb up and down the stairswith ease.

Lighting-Up the Home

Dark places become the cause for accidental bumps, trips, and falls. Thus, if you want to make your home senior-friendly, install plenty of light fixtures in every room and corner so that no one will face an accident due to the unlit corners present within the residence.

Shelves and Seating

Elderly people get tired easily, and this is why you need toprovide them with plenty of areas around the house where they can sit down or place the items they are holding to rest a little before moving forward.

Securing Bathrooms

Adding grab bars in the shower, near the toilet and the sink willhelp elderly people in the bathroom. It is best to install a shower cabinet instead of a tub, as it is easier to get into and come out of. Handle held showers allow for easy mobility and easy to open faucets with single settings allow elderly people to clean themselves without being burned or injured.


Using the modifications above will help you in not onlyconverting your home into a senior-friendly residence for your parents, but will also be of help to any other relatives or guests that your parents invite to their residence.

Friday, August 29, 2014

How to Find the Perfect Chandelier for Your Home

Do you want to enhance the beauty of a dull and dimly lit room? Are you looking for a focal point to attract the guests’ attentionwhen they walk in?

Chandeliers are jewels placed within the interior of your home.They are not only eye catching and exquisitely designed, but can also balance the play of lights within your interior to provideyou with a sufficiently bright room.

However, finding and placing the right chandelier in your home is not an easy task. It requires heavy deliberation and decision making on at least three aspects; the style of the chandelier, its size and its color scheme.


Chandeliers are available in a variety of styles, from traditional and antique to modern and futuristic. However, the selection of the correct one demands that you analyze the overall theme and style of your home décor. You may prefer to contrast a modern interior with an antique chandelier or you may be in favor ofmetallic chandeliers that complement the modern touch in yourhome. The decision of staying true to one style or creating a blend is entirely up to you, so make sure that you are opting for the right chandelier for your abode.


The perfect chandelier is well proportioned with regard to the room’s interior. It is of the right diameter, and height, having the correct number of arms to make it a focal point of the roomwithout overcrowding it.

There are some simple formulas that can help you indetermining what height and diameter is the best in accordancewith the space available in your room. Higher ceilings may have low hung chandeliers, and chandeliers placed over tabletopsmay be significantly higher than usual to provide enough space between the table and the lighting fixture.

It is important to remember that the more arms the chandelier has, the more lighting it will provide. Thus, the number of arms that you find perfect for your particular space; are dependententirely on the amount of light you require within the room.


Colors bring highlights and dramatic effects into the room. Do you want your chandelier to blend with the interior of the room or are you looking for an impactful piece that will contrast the color scheme and stand out when you enter the room?

With regard to the color of your chandeliers, you also need to give high priority to the details and textures that are available, along with deciding how transparent or opaque you want yourlighting fixture to be. Modern interiors however, look best with brightly colored chandeliers and the most fashionable chandeliers are of transparent glass, opaque white and opaque black.

Other Important Factors

Aside from the above-mentioned top three factors, some other factors to consider when buying the perfect chandelier include the position of the chandelier within a room, the number of chandeliers to include in one room and so on.

Finding the right chandelier is a time consuming task, but can provide your home with more elegance and beauty, so begin your search today!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Creating an Office within Your Home

Working from home is a choice for some people and mandatory for others. However, regardless of the circumstances that compel you to work from inside your home, you need to arrange and organize an office area within your residence so that you can carry on with your work without interruptions and difficulties.

Your home office does not need to be a large area or even within a separate room. If you have a bare space beneath your stairs orin the corner of your room, you can also use that area to convert it into your personalized office.

Want to know how to achieve this conversion? Below are some tips and tricks to create a functional and effective workplace within your residence:

- Avoid adding distractions to your workspace and keep a set distance between work and personal life. Do not add yourtelevision, your gaming console, or your novels to your office desk, as they will only be a waste of your working hours.

- Use natural light to the maximum if you can, by adding windows or opening the curtains in your home office. When natural light in unavailable or insufficient, install additional lights and bulbs to create a bright environment in which you can work easily.

- Invest in good quality and comfortable seating arrangements. Find a desk that can accommodate all of your office supplies along with your computer and purchase a chair that can be adjusted to varying heights and is comfortably built for long hours of seating.

- Built or buy additional shelves, cabinets, drawers oranything else that might help you in storing your office files and documents properly. Expand your storage space as needed and keep your office organized.

- Keep yourself updated with the latest technological gadgets and software that can help you in working faster and more efficiently. Using your resources to your advantage is a part of efficient working, so make the most of technology to get its benefits.

- Add a bit of inspiration and personal touches to your workspace. Use photographs, plants or any other decoration item that suits the theme of your office space. Yourdecoration should not distract you from work, but rather, it should inspire you to work even when you do not want to continue with it.

In order to use these tips and create your own office space, designate an area within your home where you will build it. You can work well even in a small area if you have good air ventilation and lightinginspiring décor, and comfortable seating.

Home offices can be created beneath a staircase with a desk and chair, along with shelves for storage. They can also be organized within a spare bedroom or in an old walk-in closet. Some people also use screens and curtains to create dividers in their rooms and use the separated space as a working space.

Choosing the ideal location for your office depends on you, so find the right area within your residence for a home office, andcreate a personalized yet professional corner for your working hours.

How to Create a Child-Friendly Interior

Families who have little children usually take great pains tomake their homes safer and more secure for their little ones. However, from their checklist, there is always something that remains undone.

Being reckless about the safety of your children can lead to many accidents and problems. If you want to know how tochildproof your home, consider the tips given below:1.

Make Safety a Priority

On a daily basis, there are many things that we leave on the flooror on low tables that can be easily picked up by little childrenwho may harm themselves with these items. Make a habit of putting things in their place and keep all dangerous kitchenutensils, such as, knives and forks; out of reach of your children. This rule also applies to every other belonging you have within your home that might harm your little ones.

Furthermore, there are many electrical circuits placed near the floor or wires lying on the floor of our homes. Children are naturally curious; and will attempt to play with electricalswitches within their reach. Teach them not to touch these sockets and also neatly tie away all the wires, as children might pull of them and bring your appliances and electronics crashing down to the floor.2.

Build a Play Area for Your Kids

If you want to be at ease when you leave your kids to play on their own, create a safe play area for them where they can enjoy themselves without becoming injured or hurt. You can decorate this area with colors and toys to keep your children occupied while you are busy with your work.

Create Open Spaces

For homes with smaller kids, you need to rearrange your furniture so that your child will have enough space to crawl. It is best to clear a large area in your central living space as table legs, and other furniture pieces can become painful obstacles for crawling babies.

Decorate at Higher Levels

Do you love to display little decorative pieces in your home? All parents agree that home décor that a backseat when it comes to their children’s safety. Thus, if you want to decorate without the fear of accidents, place high shelves in your rooms and opt for wall décor. As long as your decorations are out of reach of the children, you can rest assured that you will have a home that is not only safe but also beautifully decorated.

Use Colors to Brighten Your Home

Having a child-friendly interior does not merely imply a homethat is safe for little children. It also means creating an abode where kids will be happy to live. The best way to spread happiness in a home is to change your monochrome walls into splashy and colorful canvases.

The use of color in the right way, at least in your children’s room, will provide them with a happier, livelier, and more cheerful environment.


Make use of these tips to improve your home décor, so that you can have a child-friendly interior that is safe and comfortable for your children.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Paul Mengert with Jim Collins


A few months ago, I had a great morning with Jim Collins, author of Good to Great. Collins teaches that great companies, organizations (including charities) or associations become "great" by staying highly focused. They are focused on their products, service or mission, their customers (or members) and/or their businesses. Those with a simple, concise mission tend to have more sustainable success than those which are less focused. 

    Jim Collins (left) with Paul Mengert, President - Association Management Group, Inc.

Collins preaches and I want to share with my friends, clients a colleagues a set of characteristics he has found to be common among the most successful organizations:

      - Passionate about their products or services;

      - Non complacent;

      - Non ego-driven; and 

      - Embrace change.

Think about how these concepts apply or can apply to your organization:

Leadership - Principled leadership trumps charisma and mixes humility with professional will. Ego-driven leaders tend to lose sight of their goals, while accomplished leaders put the organization/association/business goals ahead of personal ones. Leaders must take responsibility and have the courage to execute what must be done and not compromise high standards.

Talent is the Key - Great organizations remove the wrong people from their team and refuse to compromise quality. Put your best people on your biggest opportunities, not your biggest problems and remember people are often brilliant at one thing but not everything.

Confront Facts - Instill a no blame culture, where the real problems can be discussed openly. Organizations must discuss real problems and adapt quickly to changing conditions.

Hedgehog Concept -- Three Interlinking Circles:

1) What are we deeply passionate about?

2) What are our strongests strengths? 

3) What drives our economic engine?

Great organizations are focused on where these three circles (concepts), where they overlap.

Discipline - Organizations that want to truly outpace their competition set and hold high standards, with commitment not only to do the right things but to stop doing things that are key to their missions.

Technology - Technology can't make one a leader, but can help one reach his/her goals. Technology isn't a culture, but adapt quickly to ever evolving technologies.

While every situation is different, these concepts can be applied to most and when done consistently, seem to lead to superior results.

Posted by: Paul Mengert, President - Association Management Group, Inc.