Shop at Kohls

A few days ago we ran across and offer for a $500 gift card for Kohls. This got us to thinking about summer shopping, summer sales and how much we like the store, Kohls that is. If you want a gift card for Kohls where can you get one? What can you do with it? And where do you find a Kohls store? Kohls is a department store chain headquartered in Milwaukee that has spread across the country and offers high quality merchandise at great prices.

$500 Kohls Gift Card

Kohls

Kohl’s Corporation is an American department store retail chain. The first store dates back to 1946 and the first department store opened in 1962. From these small beginnings Kohls has grown to be the second ranking department store in the USA by retail sales. This is a Midwest American company headquartered outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. British-American Tobacco Company purchased controlling interest from the Kohl family in 1986 and Kohls became a publically traded corporation in 1992. It is the twentieth largest US retailer.

Shopping at Kohls

Kohls borrowed the idea of a racetrack isle around the store periphery form discount stores. This makes it much easier to navigate and find things located in the back. The store is well known for its many sales and sales coupons. This writer was pleased to shop at a Kohls in Rochester, NY over Memorial Day weekend and with a combination of discount coupons and holiday sale mark downs purchase an American Tourister luggage set for $46. Its pre discount price was $226! This is a measure of the deals that you can get if you shop at Kohls in any of the lower 48 states or Alaska. To find a store near you Kohls has a nice store locator online at kohls.com/stores.

Shop at Kohls with a Gift Card

As we mentioned at the beginning you can get a $500 gift card for shopping at Kohls. If you receive a $500 gift card for Kohls you can certainly so shopping. But you can also give a gift card as a gift. Summer is when many couples get married. Deciding what to get the couple who has everything or who will get everything as a gift can be difficult. Give that special couple a gift card for Kohls. They can purchase things for the kitchen, the bedroom, the baby or just about anything and you do not need to guess what to buy or ship across the country if you are just sending a gift and not showing up.

Why Kohls Has Gift Cards and How That Helps You

Retailers drive sales with gift cards. Kohls has grown to be the second department store by sales in the country in an era when other stores have diminished and gone out of business. They take care of their customers, offer good merchandise, have fair pricing and offer frequent and spectacular sales. When you have a Kohls gift card in your pocket you can shop for anything at their stores, preferably when they are offering items on sale. A common use of gift cards is during the holiday season. For example, give a gift card for Christmas and let the recipient pick up bargains in post-holiday shopping.

Best and Worst Ways to Build Muscle

Are you interested in building muscle, improving your physical condition and generally getting healthier? Body building is one of the routes that you can take to arrive at a healthier and more physically attractive you! Body builders use various techniques to build muscle and develop their physiques. People do this with varying degrees of success. Here are a few of our thoughts about the best and worst ways to build muscle and get in shape.

Breaking Down and Building Up

When a muscle undergoes intense exercise it is injured and starts to break down. The response of the muscle is to repair itself and to build new muscle. The standard approach to this is resistance training. The person lifts weights, pulls or pushes against resistance or otherwise exerts an individual set of muscles or single muscle. By progressively increasing the weight/resistance it is possible to build larger muscles. In general the person wanting to build more muscle rotates the muscle groups that he or she exercises day by day in order to give challenged muscles a chance to recuperate and enlarge after an exercise session. Of best and worst ways to build muscle this method is the best and basic approach. There are ways to enhance this approach and here we get into best and worst ways to build muscle.

Healthy Building Blocks and Unhealthy Additions

Muscle, Protein Amino Acids

Muscles need amino acids and protein to grow. Muscles contain protein and when a person practices resistance exercise in order to build larger muscles he or she needs amino acids which are the building blocks for protein. The human body can create many of the necessary amino acids from other foods but there nine of these that humans need to get from things they eat and not make internally. They are: phenylalanine, valine, threonine, tryptophan, methionine, leucine, isoleucine, lysine, and histidine. On the best side of our best and worst ways to build muscle add the fact that you need to eat protein rich foods like meat, poultry, eggs or fish or even take protein supplements in you want to build muscle.

Stimulating Muscle Production

The male hormone testosterone encourages muscle growth. Men tend to have more muscle mass than women for two reasons. First, men often do work and engage in recreational activities that build muscles. Second, men produce more testosterone. So, it is a great temptation to use excessive amounts of testosterone to build muscle. Many people inject testosterone or synthetic male steroids to achieve the same effect. If all you want in life are bigger muscles this approach works. The problem as seen from our point of view of best and worst ways to build muscles is that there are several prices to pay for using male steroids to build muscle.

Paying the Price

Men commonly want to be healthier and to look good for women or other men with a sexual relationship as a goal. The first problem with using male steroids as a crutch in building muscles is that chronic use of male steroids can lead a variety of health problems including a higher incidence of heart attacks, male breasts, reduced sperm production and infertility, prostate enlargement with urinary retention, and liver cancer. Taking large doses of testosterone turns off the body’s normal mechanism to stimulate testosterone production so after long term use a man may need to continue taking testosterone in order of maintain sexual interest as well as performance. Of our best and worst ways to build muscle taking testosterone supplements or injecting into muscles ranks as the worst and most dangerous way to go.

In doing research for this article we ran across an offer that might be useful in building muscle. Take a look here.

Dealing with Personal Injury

Nobody likes to get hurt and most folks do not like dealing with personal injury, with insurance companies or lawyers. That basically is where personal injury lawyers come into the picture. We often suggest that you get help when confronting a complicated issue that you do not know much about. If you have been hurt and need help with fighting an insurance company or simply do not know you rights regarding in injury that you have suffered, consult a personal injury attorney. If someone else is at fault for your injuries you are entitled to damages and if your insurance company is not doing what it promised to do you are entitled to have someone with expertise and clout at your side. Worrying yourself to death about getting help is not necessary. Get help. Here are some thoughts about dealing with personal injury.

Do What the Doctor Orders

First of all take care of yourself. If you have been injured go to your doctor to get checked out. If he or she is not available because it is a weekend or holiday, go to an urgent center or emergency room. And follow through with the doctor’s orders. If this means staying on crutches for a week and then coming back to have your knee, ankle or back checked, do it. Get the tests that your doctor recommends and keep track of the bills!

Take Care of Yourself

If you are the designated care giver and care taker in your family or extended family you will find it hard to slow down and take care of yourself. Get help if you need it and get some rest or avoid aggravating that injured neck, arm, etc. Remember that you are a valuable person and deserve a little TLC.

Taking Care of Business

Many people do not like confrontation even in dealing with personal injury. But, here you are talking to the insurance adjuster. He is telling you that you really do not have any problems resulting from the car accident. So, he says, you can just sign right here on the dotted line and get a whopping $300 payment for any pain and suffering that might arise from your injury. Remember our article about consumer stress levels. In dealing with personal injury you are under stress and this guy wants to sell you a deal in which you get a little money and go away. First of all consult a personal injury attorney to find out what your rights are. Then have a chat with the insurance adjuster, ideally with the lawyer at your side. All of this may sound overly aggressive but some seemingly minor injuries last for years and turn into lifelong afflictions. The insurance adjuster does not care about this. He just wants you to go away and not bother him. Get someone on your side who has done this before. Get help in dealing with personal injury.

Get Help when You Do Not Have the Expertise or Experience

This is the bottom line in dealing with personal injury. You have gotten hurt and need help. Your doctor will help you. Your friends may sympathize. But you need someone with experience and expertise to deal with issues that sometimes end up in court to get settled. Do not settle anything until you check out your rights. Talk to a personal injury attorney. Talk to two or three. Get someone that you want on your side. You want competence, experience and someone that you can communicate with in ordinary English. In researching this article we found a useful offer for dealing with personal injury. Check it out.

Work from Home

Once upon a time most folks used to work from home. The home may have been a farm or a workshop attached to a home. The industrial revolution took people out of their homes and put them in factories, mines and offices. Now the internet age has allowed more and more of us to work from home. Here are a few thoughts about making a comfortable living working from your own home.

Work from Home Online

A while back we wrote about how you can make money selling things online. In this case we were talking about affiliate marketing. When you affiliate with a business that is already established you do not need to develop products and services. You just represent these products and services to a client base that you develop. Using your own initiative, talent, internet connection, and time you can sell things for lots of producers. The first step is to decide what you want to sell and to whom you want to sell it. It works best at the beginning to promote things about which you have a degree of expertise.

Offer Services from Your Own Home

There are a lot of jobs in the service industry that can be parsed out to independent contractors who work from home. We ran across one such job while researching this article. It involves doing paid surveys at home. People who manage large companies need information about what their customers think of their products, who might buy and who might go to a competitor. This sort of market research is something that you can do when you work from home. The hours can be flexible and the pay can be good.

A Work from Home Work Day

It is certainly possible to work a 9 am to 5 pm shift when you work from home. But, many who choose to work from home have other responsibilities such as getting the kids off to school, doing shopping and running necessary errands. Many work from home jobs like the paid surveys from home work we mentioned can be done in blocks of an hour or two spread throughout the day. And, because you are at home with access to your telephone or computer twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week, you can communicate with people in different time zones and even different parts of the world. If you are working on an incentive plan the only limit to how much you work will be your desire to make money.

Tools of the Trade

The internet age has essentially put all of us in the same small village and, in fact, together in the town square. Telephones, cellular phones, handheld smart phones or desktop computers all allow us to be in contact with anyone in the world. Whether you are sending emails for affiliate marketing or getting paid for filling out or having people fill out surveys the tools of your trade are what you already use to call your friends or check in on Facebook. Add a spreadsheet or automated tool for keeping track of information and you are ready to go.

If you would like to check into the offer we mentioned previously, go to this link: paid surveys at home.

New Directions and New Careers

How many times will you change jobs during your working years? It used to be that a person took up a trade, went to work for a company or started his or her own business and worked at that task for a lifetime. In 1970 Alvin Toffler wrote a bestselling book, Future Shock. The author noted that not only was change occurring more rapidly in human society than in earlier times but that the rate of change was continually increasing. This author predicted what we see today. Life is continually full of new directions and new careers as we move from one task to another, one employment to another or one business to another. Part of being successful in this brave new world of new directions and new careers is to know how to find a job that fits your skills, interests and plans for the future. Toffler also predicted that those who were not able to respond to the stress of change with new directions and new careers would be subject to continual stress which he termed Future Shock. Here are a few thoughts and suggestions about finding new directions and careers in life and in avoiding the stress than constant change can bring.

Jobs versus Careers

To the extent that you simply need a paycheck to pay the bills you need to find a job. To the extent that you want to make more money each year, gain secure employment or gain a set of skills that helps you move to the next and better job, you need to start on a career path. It is said that very successful people can see where they want to be and can see the steps that it takes working backward from the pinnacle of their success to the point where they are starting from. We need not all be Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, or Barack Obama in order to envision a career that we would find enjoyable, profitable and satisfying. In order to start a career path that will more likely than not end up with success there are a few things that you can do. One is to think about what you like and what you are good at. And you can work with an employment service that offers testing to help you ascertain your skill set and get advice as to what sorts of jobs will fit you today and what sort of a profession you might be able to work towards.

Practical First Steps

You can get help finding jobs online and at storefront employment services. If you simply do not know where to start, go to the first place that you find and get help finding jobs. You will need to create a resume, a list of what you have done, what you can do, your skills, your education and your willingness to work with people as well as on your own. Take a look at this online site as a starting point for new directions and new careers in your life.

Find a Loan

Depending on what you want or need money for, it may be easy or difficult to find a loan. We wrote recently about getting a loan. In general, to find a loan it is useful to have a steady job and income, little or no debt, a good credit rating and someone who wants to loan money. Your success when you go out to find a loan also depends on why it is that you want to borrow money. If you have poor credit and want to borrow money for a Caribbean cruise, good luck. The fact of the matter is that, even if you really need a vacation, there is no collateral in this instance to secure your debt. On the other hand, if you want to buy a home and there is a lender desperate for customers, the home will be the collateral for the debt and to a degree it could be easier to find a loan for $100,000 for a home than $1,000 for a Caribbean cruise.

Special Circumstances: FHA

There are special circumstances that will help you find a loan. For example, with FHA home loans, one can take advantage of a government program to make it easier to find a loan. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is a United States government agency. Since 1934 the FHA has insured loans for home building. According to the FHA, the purpose and effect of this agency is to improve housing standards and conditions, provide an adequate home financing system through insurance of mortgage loans, and to stabilize the mortgage market. Today the FHA insures nearly 5 million single family mortgages as well as 13 thousand multifamily project mortgages. The FHA provides mortgage insurance so that a person can purchase a home with a lower down payment.

Special Circumstances: HARP

There are times when the government sets up special programs to deal with special circumstance such as the 2008 recession. The HARP program is one of these and was set up to help folks find a loan for a home. HARP stands for Home Affordable Refinance Program. The Federal Housing Finance Agency set up this program in March of 2009 in the wake of the collapse of the United States residential housing bubble. The purpose of a HARP mortgage is to help homeowners whose payments on their mortgage are current but who are unable to refinance because home values fell dramatically. This is a program for folks whose mortgages commonly exceed the values of their homes, who are still making payments and who need an option for refinancing a home.

And More

There are all sorts of ways to find a loan when it may seem impossible. A good way to proceed if you do not have a clue right now is to use the services of an agency that deals with this sort of situation on a daily basis. Here is one such agency that we ran across in researching this article.

What Can You Buy from Amazon.com?

If there is something that you need or want, a viable option is to go to the largest flea market in the world, Amazon.com. What can you buy from Amazon.com? You can buy a Kindle reader and lots of reading material and you can visit their relatively new clothing section for great deals. There are also some really unusual things you can find on Amazon.com like:

  • Replicas of human fat
  • Dirt said to be from a UFO crash site
  • Magical unicorn masks
  • Unicorn meat (yes, you read it here)
  • A  primer for foreigners on how to swear in English
  • Or a plastic container full of live lady bugs for organic gardeners.

What can you buy from Amazon.com? From practical to impractical you can find lots of stuff at very competitive prices at Amazon.com. If, for example, you are an avid reader you can find books on Amazon.com.

Amazon and the Death of Bricks and Mortar Book Stores

A friend of this writer is a now-retired physician who took continuing education classes at a nearby university medical center. He loved to stroll around his old campus during lunch breaks and visit a couple campus book stores where he commonly found interesting, out of print and cheap reading material. Then, one year, he found that his favorite stores had closed up, leaving signs on the doors of their respective shops. The signs, in not so polite language, noted that Amazon.com had driven them out of business and that if one wanted the selection and service that they had offered for forty years one could pretty much go jump in a nearby lake. Amazon.com is generally considered responsible for the demise of many book stores. This is because it is easier to shop on line at Amazon.com, prices are better and you books arrive promptly in your mailbox. What can you buy from Amazon.com? You can buy lots and lots of books.

What Can You Not Buy from Amazon.com?

You cannot buy firearms online via Amazon.com and you cannot buy liquor. Considering that guns and booze are a lethal combination that is probably a good thing. And you cannot buy real estate from Amazon.com. This may well be because of real estate rules and regulations differing from state to state but imagine the problems in mail ordering a three story apartment house! If your kids want a puppy you still need to go to the Humane Society or a local pet store. Amazon.com does well with mass produced and easy to price items, like books and even fine art that can be appraised but not with unique features like the look in the eyes of a single puppy waiting for a home.

Being Led by the Nose

What can you buy from Amazon.com? You can buy what Amazon.com shows you. Jeff Bezos, who started Amazon.com, found out how to track what you have purchased and even your browsing behavior on the Amazon.com web site. Think of this as market research and marketing research on the fly. This can be a good thing. When you purchase a specific book the Amazon.com, site remembers that and when you continue to browse or when you come back the site leads you to items similar to what you purchased or looked at before. But, if you would like to be surprised you may end up being disappointed because the web site is programmed to show you what its programming indicates that you are most likely to buy based on past purchases and browsing activity. This can be limiting if you want new products and experiences.

And Amazon Has Gift Cards

A great way to buy things on Amazon.com and a great gift idea is a gift card. In researching this article we ran across this offer for a $1000 Amazon.com gift card. Click on the link and take a look.

How Can You Check Your Credit?

Having a good credit rating and specifically a good credit score is important when you want to borrow money for a new car, a new home or simply apply for a new credit card. If you are having problems in this regard how can you check your credit? Here are a few useful bits of information about credit reports, credit scores and how you can check your credit.

Credit Scores

A credit score is a number based on credit data and calculated using statistical techniques. The end result is a number that correlates with how well a person will do in paying off his debts. A credit score is meant to predict how likely it is that a person will go 90 days past due on his bills, or worse, within the next twenty-four months. The information to calculate credit scores comes from Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax which are the big three credit bureaus. Basic information is analyzed and a number pops out.  If the resulting number does not jive with your ability to pay your bills or the true likelihood of you not going past due on your bills in the next two years there is a problem with the accuracy of your credit score. It may be because of a mistake in the calculation but more often it is an inaccurate piece of information from one of the credit agencies. In our article, How Can You Repair Your Credit Score, we mention the quandary that a friend of this writer faced when a credit card company thought that he was dead and passed this false information into the broader credit system.

Checking Your Credit, Reports and Scores

Credit scores are typically reported in what is called the FICO system and range from 300 to 850. A score in the low 700s is average. Higher score mean a better credit rating and lower scores mean you will be less likely to remain current on paying your debts. You can get a free credit report every 12 months from each of the three major credit bureaus. But this is not a free credit score! It will cost you $7.95 to get a credit score. If you get a free credit report and find a mistake you can dispute that mistake and the credit bureaus have 45 days to respond. You can also buy a credit score from one or more of the credit rating agencies or pay to get scores by joining a credit monitoring service. If your search for a credit report is prompted by an apparent mix up such as being denied credit when you previously had good credit you can get a report within sixty days. This would apply if you were prematurely declared dead like my friend!

Checking and Repairing

How can you correct your credit score if the numbers just do not match your situation? First of all get a free report and look for mistakes. If this is too tedious a task for you or simply a pain in the backside, use this service to check your credit. Once you if you have a problem you can move on and fix it.

How Can You Repair Your Credit Score?

A friend of mine went to borrow money recently and found out that his credit score had fallen from a near perfect 800 to the 300 range. It turns out that a credit card company thought that he was dead! How can you repair your credit score if something like this happens to you? Let us start out with a little information about credit scores.

What Are Credit Scores and How Do They Calculate Them?

A credit score is an attempt to match a number to the likelihood that a person will pay off his debts. Specifically the point is to predict how likely it is that a person will go 90 days past due on his bills, or worse, within the following 24 months. Credit scores are arrived at from information at the three credit bureaus, Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. Basic data is subjected to statistical analysis.  If there is a problem with the accuracy of your credit score it may be because of a flaw in the calculation but more commonly an inaccurate credit score is a matter of garbage in/garbage out. That is to say if one or more of the credit agencies have inaccurate information it can badly damage your credit score. Interestingly, your income is not considered in calculating your credit score. The argument in favor of credit scores is that they are accurate in predicting risk for the lender and tend to result in lower credit costs for borrowers. That is all fine and dandy if they do it right but not if there is a glitch in the system. If that is the case, how can you repair your credit score?

Checking Your Credit Score

Credit scores in the FICO system range from 300 to 850. A score in the low 700s is typical and around the average. Higher is better and lower is worse. All Americans are entitled to a free credit report every twelve months from each of the three major credit bureaus. But Americans are NOT entitled to a free credit score! The cost is $7.95 to get a credit score. If you wish to dispute your credit score that was obtained for free, the credit bureaus have 45 days to respond. You can also purchase a credit score from one or more of the credit rating agencies or get scores by paying for membership in a credit monitoring service. If your search for a credit report is prompted by an apparent mix up such as being denied credit when you previously had good credit you can get a report within sixty day. This would apply if you were in the fix my friend was in when they prematurely declared him dead!

Fixing What Is Broken

How can you repair your credit score? First of all you can get a free report and look for mistakes or you can work with someone whose work it is to repair credit scores. If the damage to your credit score is severe you may wish to work with someone who does this sort of work for a living. Here is one such agency. Visit this link to learn more.

What Can You Do with a Gift Card?

First of all a gift card is a great gift idea. Market research of women shows that the most popular gift choice for a woman is a gift card. For men gift cards rank number three. A gift card is an electronically encoded plastic card similar to a credit card. The point of giving a gift card is that you do not have to guess what kind of gift to give. Gift cards can be limited to an individual retailer or an entire mall. A VISA gift card can be used anywhere that VISA is accepted.

A Little History

About twenty years ago printers and copy machines became so sophisticated that it was easy to counterfeit the printed gift certificates of the day. The first company to use a gift card to deal with this issue was Blockbuster, followed by many others. Because a plastic encoded gift card needs to be electronically processed it can be easier to avoid counterfeiting. These cards typically have a magnetic strip but may all migrate to EMS chips to further avoid problems with hackers.

How a Gift Card Works

A gift card can be for one time use or can be rechargeable. The card balance is maintained on the card itself as well in the database of the processor. They can be custom made for an individual or individual store or can be a “white card” with no specific identification. Often companies reward their employees with gift cards in which case the card may carry the company name or the name of where the card can be used such as with a Target Gift Card. All the recipient of the card needs to do is take it to the retailer and use it to make a purchase. Sometimes the card is set up so that the person receives change in cash and sometimes the card is simply debited. There are often time limits on the use of gift cards so do not let your gift card from last Christmas go unused for too long or you may find that your gift evaporated over time.

General Use Cards Are the Best

The reason that gift cards are popular with gift recipients is that the card allows the person to pick his or her own gift which may include a dinner out with a loved one instead of being limited to a department store. A VISA gift card gives the user the ability to buy any good or service at any establishment that takes VISA cards. This is, after all, the point of giving and getting a gift card.

Reward Programs

Gift cards are great ways to say thank you for the hard work of an employee or for the loyalty of particular customers. A retailer will probably want to issue cards that are good for purchases at their stores. Others will typically offer a VISA gift card for use anywhere. A common way for stores to issue refunds on returned merchandise is with a store gift card. Many retailers drive sales with gift cards by offering discounts with card use or in purchasing cards that can only be used at the retailer.

Giving to Charities

This specific type of card allows the recipient to give money to any of a selected group of charities but not to use for general purchases.

Unique Offer

In researching this article we ran across a useful offer for a VISA gift card. Take a look here.


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