Stylish, Safe and Green Store

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tips for a Great Remodel

The bathroom is one of the most personal spaces in the home. It is where the day starts and where the day ends. It is the place where we put on our “face” for the rest of the world to see.

Here are some of my tips for a successful project:

Let your imagination run wild! Cut out pictures in magazines. Think about the great hotel bathrooms you have seen. Consider all of the possibilities and then pick and choose your favorites. This should be a fun process and best of all it does not cost a thing!

Do some fact finding! Who will be using the bathroom? Have everyone make a list of what they do in the bathroom. (It may sound funny, but it is an important in creating a functional space.)

Let the light shine! Look at the natural light in the space. Is the existing lighting sufficient in day and evening? If not, task lighting can be a great addition to your space. Add a lighted make up mirror to your vanity or a reading light over the commode or tub.

Plan to keep it organized! What do you would like to store in the bathroom? Make sure you have a spot for things like cosmetics, towels, toys or plug in grooming items? Great solutions include mirrored medicine cabinets, counter top appliance garages, drawer organizers and shower baskets.

Keep it safe! Safety is for everyone in the family. This is the right time to add those special touches. Make sure that you have lots of safe places to hold throughout the bathroom. Great Grabz has a super selection of towel bars; grab bars, toilet paper holders and more.

Plan for the future! Whether it is a skiing accident, knee replacement or a bad back you should be able to easily install grab bars where needed. Install wood backing behind the walls next to the commode, at the shower entry and in the shower or tub. When looking at new flooring make sure that it has a non-slip surface.

Determine your budget and stick to it! Whether your budget is big or small, be honest with the professionals that you are working with and they will give you the greatest value for the dollar.

Use licensed professional contractors! They say that a remodeling project can take years off your life and jeopardize the strongest of marriages. Minimize anxiety by using professionals, who show up on time, do what they say and help you avoid some of the common pitfalls of the DYI Project.

Ask for references! There are many people that can be involved in transforming your bathroom. This is the best way to make sure you are getting reliable and honest individuals. Remember they are coming into your home and they are going to make a mess.

Good luck with your project and feel free to send over any remodeling questions to

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Join Me In "The Race" - Women Supporting Women

Ladies as a fellow female entrepreneur I am always looking for ways to increase the revenue for my business. I have to share with you a unique and very special organization that will help you on your path to success in doing so. Count Me In - the organization for women’s economic independence is the single most worthwhile organization you should join. Women business owners who participate in their “Make Mine A Million $” business program see increases of revenue up to 40%. Why? Because Count Me In provides you with the resources and tools to make your business a success.

Count Me In founder, Nell Merlino (who also instituted Take Your Daughter To Work Day) has partnered the organization with corporate sponsors like OPEN from American Express, JetBlue, Dell, FedEx, Sam’s Club, Reader’s Digest and other organizations that are committed to helping women take their business revenues to a million dollars or more. (If that isn’t credible, I don’t know what is!)

Starting in 2009, Count Me In will be sponsoring The Make Mine a Million $ Business Race, I encourage - no I implore each and everyone of you to register for this event that will change your business.

Register early, set your 2009 revenue goal at $250,000, $500,000 or $1mm. Take advantage of our recommended preparation tips before the M3 RACE begins. (You will be given this information once you register)

Starting January 27, at the click of a mouse, you will have access to experts, resources, and opportunities tailored for YOU! You are never alone.

* Cutting-edge on-line business assessment with expert advice and education* Personalized “dashboard” to track your goals and annual revenue* Social network to find other M3 RACE participants and post questions* Invitations to three national educational and networking events* Opportunities to reach new national markets with partners like American Express OPEN, Reader’s Digest, Dell and Sam’s Club* Promotion through local and national TV, newspapers, magazines, radio, and blogs

Prizes and national recognition for crossing your personal finish line, as well as the chance to win our Grand Prize of $100,000 cash for your business with national PR, advertising and press for your business, and other business-boosting and work-life-balancing prizes for success on the national and state level. Because of the level of expertise that will be offered to the participants of this program, there is an entry fee. It is just $100 (About the cost of a good haircut.)

The Make Mine a Million $ Business RACE is an exciting year-long business growth marathon to support you in becoming a successful and productive business owner and help rebuild our nation’s economy.

1. What is the Make Mine a Million $ Business RACE (M3 RACE)?
No, you don’t have to run. The Make Mine a Million $ Business RACE is an exciting year-long business growth marathon to support you in becoming a successful and productive business owner and help rebuild our nation’s economy.

Just like the walk/run marathons that you know to benefit breast cancer research and other causes, you can choose your own pace for your 2009 business revenue goal: $250,000, $500K, or one million dollars or more!

Whether you have a business or are just starting one, we will help you “train” by assessing your business strengths and weaknesses, introducing you to coaches, peer groups and experts, increasing your access to new markets, financing and national recognition so you can grow, create jobs where you live and provide economic stability for your families, communities and the country.

2. Why should I enter the M3 RACE?
There has never been a better time to focus on exactly what you want for your business and what it will take to get it. Now is your time to stand up and count yourself in.
Enter the M3 RACE to:
* Become a more successful and productive business owner* Run and enjoy a balanced life as a woman, entrepreneur and/or mother* Take the mystery out of running a business* Create your own personal vision for your business* Manage and control your business and keep it from controlling you* Delegate to gain the results you want* Exceed your customer’s expectations so they return and promote you to others* Find, attract, hire and keep excellent employees* Achieve and surpass a million $ or more in annual revenue more quickly.

3. What do I get by entering the M3 RACE?
By joining the M3 RACE starting January 27, you will have access to support and assistance that has never before been available to women entrepreneurs.
* You are never alone. Support, tools and guidance to prepare you for the M3 RACE.* Online business assessment tool to help you identify where your business stands and what you need to reach your 2009 goal* Your own personalized Dashboard where you can track your short term goals and annual revenue, find other M3 RACE participants and post questions* Exposure for your product or service to new audiences* Access to three national events, which will include intensive workshops and competitions for business-boosting and work-life-balancing prizes* Opportunities to reach new national markets with partners like American Express OPEN, Reader’s Digest, Dell and Sam’s Club and promotion through local and national TV, newspapers, magazines, radio and blogs* Prizes and national recognition for crossing your personal finish line, as well as the chance to win our Grand Prize of $100,000 cash for your business and national PR, advertising and press for your business and other prizes for success on the national and state level.

4. When does the Make Mine a Million $ Business RACE Begin and End?
The M3 RACE starts online at on January 27, 2009, where you sign up to race and declare your revenue goals for the year and get ready for the journey of a lifetime!
Registration: December 15, 2008 thru June 30, 2009
The M3 RACE ends on midnight, December 31, 2009 and winners will be announced in February 2010.

5. How do I enter the Make Mine a Million $ Business RACE?
It’s easy! Enter the M3 RACE The race starts on January 27th. The new updated website will be posted on that day. Do not be discouraged by the current website.

6. Who is eligible?
* Own a business or have an idea for a new business* 18 years or older* U.S. Citizen or legal resident* Female* Business is at least 50% women owned

7. What do I win?
You win just by being in the M3 RACE. On average, women who have participated in the Make Mine a Million $ Business program have increased their revenue and job growth rate by more than 40% within 12 months.

By joining the M3 RACE, you will have an opportunity to be part of a community of women entrepreneurs across the country growing their businesses, creating jobs and providing for their families. We are in it together.

8. What are the prizes?
The Grand Prize winner will receive a $100,000 cash prize and a year’s worth of marketing, advertising and press opportunities.
Runner up winners from all 50 states and in 15 business sector categories receive a coveted prize package including one-on-one business coaching, technology products, media exposure, access to financing and new markets, and products and services like grocery delivery services to help them manage their families and household. Stay tuned for more…
*Prizes are subject to change.

9. How do I win?
Judging criteria is based on:
* Sales levels (compared to base year)* Percentage revenue growth (compared to base year)* Percentage employee growth* Business net worth* Profitability after owner(s) draw
Certification of figures: Count Me In will require your assistance in collecting figures to evaluate your business growth. You will be required to enter monthly metrics. All figures will be confidential and not disclosed or shared with third parties.

Winners will be selected based on company-submitted information, but will not be officially named until Count Me In has received and reviewed either tax returns or CPA prepared financials for 2008 and certification of sales for 2009. This information must be provided no later than February 1, 2010.

10. Is there an entry fee?
Yes. To provide you with the best coaches and experts, a dynamic online business assessment tool, and a national network of women just like you, there is an entry fee of $100.

11. What if my 2008 sales already exceeded $1 million?
Congratulations! We encourage you to register for the M3 RACE so you can continue to grow your multi-million dollar business. We will also expose you to media opportunities, send you information relevant to your stage of business growth, invite you to mentor other women and speak on expert panels.

12. How can men get involved?
Men can support women in the Make Mine a Million $ Business RACE as business partners, vendors, employees and contractors. As husbands, brothers, fathers, sons and friends, you can pay the registration fee for a woman you know.

13. Who is supporting the Make Mine a Million $ Business RACE?
Our supporters are growing everyday. Today, the Make Mine a Million $ Business RACE is supported by our founding partner American Express OPEN, Cisco, Dell, Sam’s Club, and Reader’s Digest.

14. How do I support the M3 RACE?
There are a number of ways that you can support a Make Mine a Million $ Business RACE.
To sponsor a racer, you can:
* Buy their products* Tell your friends about them* Begin a movement in your neighborhood to support the M3 RACE. Click here to make a tax free donation to Count Me In. Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence is a 501c3 organization. For information about becoming a corporate sponsor, contact

15. Why is Count Me In launching Make Mine a Million $ Business RACE?
There are 10.5 million women owned businesses in the United States today, yet only 3%, or 250,000, generate a million dollars or more in annual revenue. With the right support, tools, and encouragement we can all surpass a million dollars in business revenue, create jobs for our communities, and help rebuild America’s economy. If one million women grow their businesses to one million dollars in revenue, we will have created 4 million new jobs and $700 billion in economic activity. Count Me In believes there is no better moment to inspire a movement of women’s economic development.

Through our most successful business growth program, Make Mine a Million $ Business™, we have learned what propels women to grow sustainable and thriving businesses. That is why, Count Me In is launching the Make Mine a Million $ Business RACE — to pass on our knowledge to help thousands more women entrepreneurs succeed in hitting their goals in a year. The M3 RACE marks the beginning of a chain reaction that places the strength of one million women behind every entrepreneur’s success. This is our race to run, and we are in it together.

16. Who is Count Me In?
Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence is the leading national not-for-profit provider of resources, business education, and community for women entrepreneurs. We believe in you, and we believe in the ability of women entrepreneurs to create jobs for our communities and provide thriving environments for their families and future generations through achieving and surpassing their goals of business growth. We also believe that to grow your business, you have to grow yourself. Count Me In is dedicated to providing inspiration, resources, and the community support women entrepreneurs need to scale their businesses to a million dollars in revenue and beyond.

As one of the most recent winners of the Micro to Millions Award, and a member of Count Me In, I have committed to be one of the Ambassadors to this program. If you have questions regarding Count Me In, The Race to a Million or just general questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. If I don’t know the answer, I will find out, or point you to the person who does. When you enter, please fill in the Promo Code with ASLA. This will let me know that you have joined and this way we can support each other as we race to increase our business revenue for 2009!

Thanks and much success,

Abbie Sladick

Monday, January 12, 2009

Keeping Families Safe and Healthy in the Bathroom

With the winter winds blowing and the snow falling many families are feeling the effects of the flu and cold season. Sniffles can be heard everywhere, but as a mom, there is nothing more frustrating then having colds pass from family member to family member in MY own house. A new study finds that cold suffers often leave germs on surfaces throughout the house, where they can live for two days or longer.

The University of Virginia, tested surfaces around the home. "We found that commonly touched areas like the refrigerator, doors and handles were positive about 40% of the time for cold germs," said Dr. Birgit Winther, who helped conduct the study.

Wouldn't it be great to have surfaces that stopped the growth of these germs on contact. Well there is-- SANIGUARD -- and it is being in used in some innovative places. SANIGAURD uses the power of silver to stab, starve and stop reproduction of many germs once activated by the moisture from the human touch.

In 2009, this technology moves from hospitals to the home and to hotels. Great Grabz has made SANIGAURD a standard feature on all their decorative grab bars. They will also offer this coating on showerseats, shower baskets, towel bars and other bathroom accessories. One of the additional features of this product is that it protects the decorative finish of the metals and eliminates the need for harsh chemical for disinfecting. (think green!)

Many hotels and cruise ships are looking to this new technology to keep bathrooms shipshape. Guests appreciate this extra attention to detail. No one likes to get sick on vacation! At home or on vacation, another great way to keep your family healthy is Hands2GO instant sanitizer. It is alcohol-free, fragrance-free natural and water based.

Stay happy and healthy!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Aging in Place Resources

Michael Thomas, FASID and Drue Lawlor, FASID have collaborated on one of the most useful resources that I have ever found on Aging in Place design. Their book, Residential Design for Aging in Place, is a resource for design professionals, remodelers, care givers and those thinking about their future.

The book explores all areas of the home, both risks and opportunities. As an example, the chapter, "Designing the Bathroom" reviews grab bar and shower seat placement, wall blocking, floor plans, and cabinetry design. There are great diagrams and photography to show how all of this comes together to create a great bathroom.

This book is a worthwhile investment, before starting any remodeling project.

Designers may also like to check out Michael's blog called Design/Build Interiors.

“I would rather fall than have my friends think I have a grab bar!”

Those words changed the world of Abbie Sladick, sending her on a fantastic journey of creativity and innovation in a seemingly dull

For over eight years, Abbie had been making dreams come true by designing and remodeling extraordinary bathrooms for her clients. She used products from all over the world for her projects but when one of her clients refused to use a grab bar - Abbie was stumped.

How could she create a beautiful bathroom with an ugly grab bar? Never to be discouraged, Abbie decided if she couldn’t buy a stylish grab bar… then she would design one.

The company’s signature Wave bar was the result. Now Abbie and the Great Grabz team look towards the future redefining safety in the bathroom by creating stylish products that allow
people of all ages and abilities to maintain their dignity and independence.