(BPT) - Many small business owners are hopeful that offering their products online will increase their bottom line. But the digital marketplace is increasingly crowded and it can be hard to stand out from the pack. The good news is that being a small business can actually give you an edge over bigger brands - if you know how to use your size to your advantage. Here are the do's and don'ts you need to take your business to the next level:

Don't build your...
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We are so often cluttered with the stuff from grown children that gets left behind as they get established elsewhere on their own. They like to have the unpaid additional storage space in a parent's home or they just don't want to make any decision about what to do with their things. So, their things are left taking up lots of precious space, even though the stuff may not be so precious to anyone anymore.

What to do with a spare room:

1. Dump the junk-...
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Trying to find a secure savings path through market swings is similar to being on a safari. Imagine that you've just embarked on the adventure of a lifetime: a safari in Kenya. Now, imagine again if you had to choose between two ways of enjoying this adventure:

• Walking along a bush path in single file with an armed guide at either end, ready to protect you against any wild creature that might pounce from behind the high grasses. Of course your guides...

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Canadians are always looking for innovative ways to keep the energy bills down. One of the best kept secrets to achieve this is the heat pump, a mechanical system that draws heat from the air, or from the earth and transfers it into the home or vice versa, depending on the season.

Heat pumps work like refrigerators since they use fluids to transfer heat energy from one place to another. That's why, if you put your hand behind a refrigerator, it is...

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(BPT) - It's a sobering truth of real estate that sellers often have to spend money to make money. Even if your home is relatively new, you still face costs associated with getting it ready to show, such as repainting interior rooms or hiring professional cleaners and stagers. If your home could use some TLC and updating, spending as little as $5,000 on key upgrades could improve its appeal for buyers - and ensure a speedier sale at a better price.

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(BPT) - When it comes to home improvement, Americans have embraced doing it themselves - in a big way. Among homeowners who plan to make improvements, 64 percent say they will do it themselves, according to American Express' Consumer Spending and Saving Report. Yet one area of home improvement continues to give even adventurous and confident DIYers pause - bathroom renovation.

"Many people who don't think twice about installing flooring or cabinetry or...
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The first window covering you bought, as a student or maybe a young married, was doubtless a roller shade. It most likely came in a limited range of colors, but cost a very few dollars and, if you treated it well, provided the needed privacy for many years. That's still true of some roller shades, but not all.

"The range of fabric choices in our new roller shade sample book simply blew me away," says Mary Dobson, spokesperson for Levolor Window Fashions...

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(NC) Buying your first house can be exciting and nerve-wracking, especially with so many factors to consider. Even now in this low-interest rate climate, going out and buying the first place you see is very tempting. But will you end up living beyond your means? What if interest rates go up? Are you really ready to make this huge financial commitment for the next 12 to 15 years, or longer? Before you sign the dotted line, the financial experts from Desjardins...

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(NC)-All students are active thinkers by nature, but not all students know how to think actively when it comes to classroom learning or at-home studying.

According to Oxford Learning's CEO and founder, Dr. Nick Whitehead, this is because, like many other school skills (such as studying, organization, and focus) active thinking is a skill that students need to be shown how to use.

"Active learning is not a skill restricted to the classroom....

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"It's important for caregivers to take care of themselves as well, and to help those they care for find treatment options that can make it easier for both patient and caretaker to better manage Alzheimer's symptoms," says Dr. Richard S. Isaacson*, associate professor of neurology and director of the Alzheimer's Prevention & Treatment Program at Weill Cornell Medical College and a respected AD researcher who has several family members with the disease....
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Life is hectic. And although technology has made our lives easier to multitask and stay connected, it also means that no matter where you go, it's hard to fully escape. While traveling to a remote island to get away for peace and relaxation would be a wonderful retreat, you can easily avoid the hustle and bustle of your daily routine by creating peaceful escapes throughout your own home.

Say "Spaah"

The bathroom is the only place where you can shut the...

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(NC)-Just because its cold outdoors, doesn't mean you can't enjoy summer flavours. To start a busy weekday morning or for a healthy afternoon snack, here is a recipe for a nutritious tropical peach breeze smoothie. Offering a twist to classic smoothies, this delicious drink features nutmeg, ginger and coconut water.

Tropical Peach Breeze Smoothie:

• 1 (14 oz/398 mL) can California Cling Peaches in fruit juices from concentrate

• 1/2 cup (125 mL) coconut...

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Today, time is an incredible luxury - one that we too rarely have. Between family responsibilities, work commitments and everyday stresses, it can often be hard to accomplish everything on the to-do list, let alone carve out time for oneself.  A mainstay on the to-do list has always been laundry, and with the average  household doing 7.5 loads per week, the time spent washing, drying and folding really adds up.
In fact, a significant number...
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(NC)- Every day hundreds of thousands of passengers are flying from Canadian airports. If you are one of them, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) has some advice to help you get through security quickly.

"Knowing what to expect and packing appropriately will reduce the time you spend at the checkpoint and increase the time you spend enjoying your trip," says Mathieu Larocque, a spokesperson for CATSA.

Before going to the...

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Did you know that most household dirt goes undetected and over the years it can build up and make it more expensive to heat and cool your home? By following these three simple tips, offered by the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI), you can clean up, save money, and breathe easy:

• Filter your air: We filter our swimming pools to make sure they're free of dirt and debris - we need to do the same for our indoor air. There...

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