Category Archives: Home and Family

Study Show Single Parents Cause for Falling Income of Male Population

Recently, a well-known labor economist has argued that the increasing number of single parents is largely to blame for diminishing earnings of male workers, contrary to those of female workers whose earnings have shown a growing trend in the recent past.

According to Professor David H. Autor, who teaches at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, childhood partly plays a role in the differences observed between men and women. Surprising data collected in 2010 found that 63 percent of children live with both parents, a significant drop, taking into account that it was 82 percent in 1970. Most children in single-parent households are being brought up by their mothers.

Economic troubles faced by the male population are seen as the cause-and-effect of diminishing two-parent households. Women typically are not as attracted to less successful men and often opt to raise their own children, producing sons who are likely to experience similar economic hardships and hence, be less attractive to their generation of women.

Professor Autor thinks that this may facilitate a vicious cycle that will define the gender gap in the next generation. Male numbers in the workplace have significantly dropped and this is a worrisome trend of national importance.

Women are now going to college in higher numbers than men and are therefore better positioned to deal with the demands and shortcomings of the current labor market—technology advancement, foreign competition, and declining unions.

Many economists believe that the male population has taken a beating from economic changes such as the declining manufacturing sector. However, keen analysis suggests that such reasons only account for small portion of the declining wage gap. Arguments have cropped up about the real causes of the situation, with some conservatives claiming that a female is more adaptable, and the male less industrious—views that are disputed by Professor Autor.

Citing the widening income inequality gap, Professor Autor points out that children raised in poor backgrounds are likely to end up as parents of poor children. Boys raised by their mothers are particularly disadvantaged with many having slim chances of attending college. Studies show that they spent less time with their mothers compared to girls.

While conservatives view the improvement of parental relationships as key to addressing the issue, liberals think that an improvement in economic opportunities will solve the problem.

Let Your Garden Grow: The Benefits of Homegrown Food

Have you ever made a trip to the grocery store’s produce aisle only to think why can’t I grow some of this myself? Yes, produce tends to be expensive, and it can be frustrating to see a grocery bill go sky high when you want to treat yourself to some fresh fruits and vegetables. But, with a little land and a little hard work, all those delicious natural treats can be yours for a fraction of the cost and without ever leaving your own yard.

Having a home garden with fruits and vegetables is an incredibly rewarding experience. You get to witness the entire life cycle of the produce as well as play an integral part in bringing it to life year after year. There’s also the incredible benefit of knowing the fruits and vegetables are untainted by the industrial process that many foods must go through before they end up on store shelves. From chemical treatments to pesticides to unclean handling practices, you can rest assured knowing that you and you alone are responsible for the food you eat.

There’s also a tremendous cost-savings involved with growing fruits and vegetables. Instead of buying them by the pound, you merely buy packets of seeds at a fraction of the price. While the results aren’t immediate, the savings add up over time—in fact, having a garden can easily result in hundreds of dollars saved over the course of a year.

Gardens are also excellent opportunities for families and couples to bond. Many people are so busy that they rarely take time to truly enjoy nature, but getting together and working as a team on a sustainable project like a garden can really bring families together—especially for large gardens that require several pairs of hands to maintain.

The idea of planting a garden may seem daunting at first, but if you start small and work your way up, your thumb will turn green in no time. And the best part is that each year represents a new opportunity to grow something new, so you’ll never get tired of the fruits of your labor.

Changing Roles in Life: Becoming a Caregiver for Parents

Roles reverse; child becomes parent.  If you are about to join the ranks of the more than 65 million family caregivers in the U.S., you must understand the job is so much more than a profound act of kindness.  While there are myriad reasons people take on the role of caregiver, there are common considerations all caregivers face.  To help alleviate the strain of caregiving and make it a rewarding experience for you and the loved one in your care, start by taking time to develop plans to address the following major areas.

Financial Health

If you are currently working, caregiving may impact your ability to work and your future earning potential, should you need to cut back in hours.  You need to determine how this will affect your current situation as well as future financial health.  Consider consulting a financial professional to discuss options.  If you will be financially burdened by caregiving, you should look for options that may pay you for some of your caregiving time. You may also need to look at the finances of your loved-one to identify any gaps that may need to be addressed now or in the future.

Physical Health

Caring for an aging and/or ill loved-one can put a lot of strain on your body.  Likely, your sleep schedule will be disrupted, you will be eating irregularly, or you may be lifting or moving someone with mobility issues.  All of these factors combined can negatively affect your health and cause serious physical issues for you.  Figure out how you can keep healthy while caring for your loved-one by developing your own wellness plan.  In addition, talk with doctors and nurses about the medical needs of your loved-one and the proper procedures for delivering effective care to ensure you are providing the best care possible.

Mental Health

Caregiving can be quite stressful and offers a rollercoaster of emotions along the way.  You need to be aware that sadness, resentment, and anxiety are a normal part of your job, and should be addressed before they spiral out of control and possibly harm you or the person in your care.

Find out if there are respite programs in your area that will provide a break from caregiving duties so you can refuel and attend to your personal needs.  Reach out to family, friends, or community volunteers who could help alleviate some of your stress. Also, look for caregiver support groups at your local hospital, church, or senior center and reach out to others who are experiencing some of your same challenges.

Caregiving is a compassionate job, filled with rewards and strain.  As you embark on this journey, don’t forget to celebrate the fact that you are able to give your loved-one the proper care they deserve from someone they know and love.  You are providing your loved-one with dignified care and you would likely have it no other way.



The Best Campfire Meals

When you’re enjoying the great outdoors, your favorite take-out isn’t exactly around the corner. It becomes more important than ever that you find a way to feed yourself and your loved ones. But you’re in the middle of nowhere without a stove or oven—and certainly no sign of a microwave—so the only real way to cook food is over a campfire.

There are several ways to prepare food using only a campfire as a heat source—skewer, aluminum foil, and paper sack. Below are some basic recipes for each.

Aluminum foil:

  • Wrap meal in heavy duty aluminum foil and cook over heat until done. Cooking time depends on the level of heat, as well as the type of meat used. Ingredients can include chicken, ribs, pork, potatoes, peppers, onions, and much more. Foil packet meals work better over hot coals or a small fire rather than a roaring blaze.

Paper sack:

  • Bacon and eggs are ideal for paper sack cooking. Place raw bacon in the bottom of the bag, crack an egg over the bacon, and fold the top of the bag down. Moisten the bag to keep it from burning and use a non-flammable stick like a wire hanger to hold the bag over the fire. Be sure you keep the bag far enough away to keep the flame from touching it but close enough that it gets the full force of the heat. Cooking takes about ten minutes.


  • This is one of the best-known campfire cooking methods and many say it’s the easiest. Marshmallows and hot dogs are the obvious choices, but sausages, potatoes, and zucchini are ideal for skewering, as well. You can even chop up pieces of poultry, pork, fish, lamb…and any other kind of meat to cook over the campfire.

Cooking around a campfire is not only a way to have great food while enjoying the great outdoors, it’s also a fun experience that can help bring everyone together. Once you’ve found your favorite way of campfire cooking, you can experiment with seasonings and new recipes to add variety to your experience.

Interview | Christian Rock Band, Circleslide Talks about Mercy Ministries

(Jon) The song “Looking Up” really comes from a place where you have an unyielding spirit, a determination to continue on when you’re pressed down, a spirit of just continuing when everything’s been kinda taken away from you.  And I’ve never seen the Mercy Ministries girls come in so excited and they picked up real quick and I just remember getting chills down my spine.

(song lyrics) “It’s over my head, it’s out of my hands. I know the best I got is not enough…”

(Gabe) Here are my Mercy Ministries sisters and they’re in trouble and I was immediately put in this place of a reverent awe.  You see the Mercy Ministries girls, and they may look okay on the outside and they may look like they have it all together, but on the inside they may be dealing with some heavy, heavy things, stuff that I don’t know even as a guy if I could handle.

(Jon) All the proceeds of this single will go to support of Mercy Ministries.  Every cent will go to supporting this great cause, providing whatever is necessary monetarily for Mercy Ministries and so we’re just excited to be a part of that and excited to just see what God is going to do through this song.

(Jon) Just hearing that part in the song, I kinda wish we would have gone back and put that on the record.

(interviewer) Gabe, tell us your thoughts on Mercy Ministries and Circleslide’s involvement.

(Gabe) Well if you just listen to us talk about it, you can tell we’ll never be the same after visiting and meeting the Mercy Ministries girls.  It’s one of those things where people tell you how you have to experience this, and I can’t describe it.  It really is that.  But if you ever you’ve seen things on the news about tragedy of our youth today and how horrible things are for young people, here’s this ministry that free of charge allows young girls to come in and it saves lives.  These Mercy Ministries girls could be going to prison, these Mercy Ministries girls could be on suicide watches or whatever.  And instead they come out with a countenance of somebody who just is full of joy, hope.  They are excited about changing their friends’ lives.  It’s an amazing thing and so for us to partner with Mercy Ministries is a no brainer.  And I know that I’m going to be telling all my family and my friends that there’s so many ways to get involved.  You can go to the Mercy Ministries website, you can look at places where you can become a donor.  I’d encourage you to visit Mercy Ministries if you’re anywhere close to Nashville.  You should just come pay a visit and see what is being offered for these young women at Mercy Ministries.  And I’ll never forget how the Mercy Ministries girls, they made us this huge scrapbook of their experience.  It was this album cover that was meticulously drawn, all these great pictures.  And all we really did is we just met them for a few minutes in the studio.  Just reaching out and befriending and praying for these Mercy Ministries girls.  I think that’s something that we just want to take with us and share.  So look up “Looking Up” in iTunes.  Like John said, it will be available in November.  And thank you for just allowing us to be a part of this.

(interviewer) Can I ask you one more question as follow up? I’m curious as young guys looking at a home like this for young girls, how did it affect you as a guy, as a man, from that perspective? Because a lot of us who work there are women obviously.  So what was it like for you as men, was it different?

(Gabe) Mercy Ministries changed my life. Mercy Ministries changed my outlook and it made me more aware of my surroundings, made me realize that there’s hurting going on out there of people who may look like they got it all together.

(Eric) I think for me, the whole experience was that it just kinda shattered my thoughts.  Again, like Lee was sharing earlier, I didn’t know what to expect when we went into Mercy Ministries and the one thing I think that stood out in the stories that we were told was there were so many self-image issues going on.  And there was a moment when they were sharing photographs, each girl had made a photo collage of their time there and it was amazing to see the photographs of the girls right when they came into Mercy Ministries and then at their graduation.  And it’s like there are two people.  There is somebody who is broken down and hurting in the first photo, who is distrustful who is angry, that has any number of issues that are, you know, literally weighing on them.  And then the second photograph, the graduation photo, you are looking at this Mercy Ministries girl who is full of joy, who is happy, who has some self confidence.  And it was really bizarre to me to see that much change in such a short period of time.  It was literally like seeing a rebirth.  I think that was, for me, probably the most impactful thing, just seeing the contrast in pictures.

(Gabe) It’s almost like society and maybe like the popular culture tries to portray and send, guys at least, messages of what women are supposed to look like, what women are supposed to act like and I think that if we are bombarded with that it’s no wonder that we’re all confused about our roles as men and women and how we’re supposed to act, and how do you achieve a certain look or how do you achieve happiness or how do you achieve love.  And so it put everything in perspective being there at Mercy Ministries, like I said these are my sisters and they’re in need of help.  And you know we need to treat women with respect.  I know I try to treat my wife with respect.  But what about the other women around us?  How do we carry ourselves as men and how do we try to yeah just show respect and be brothers in Christ to the girls around us? So yeah it was a good little eye-opener.

(interviewer) Eric, you’re a father right? Do you have a little boy or a little girl?

(Eric) I have a little boy.

(interviewer) A little boy.  Did it make you think about your role as a father at all?

(Eric) Oh yeah. You know everyone told me that having a child would change my worldview, that you know you can never prepare yourself. And my wife and I have been married for 12 years and we kinda understand the works and we expect the changes.  And you know all the basic changes in life, yeah we were there for it.  But the spiritual change of becoming a dad, suddenly there was a change for me where all of a sudden I understood the way my connection with God was supposed to be because God the Father and being his son. And it’s my job to provide his needs.  And I began to realize through this situation that my connection with my father as in God is identical and I need to look to Him for my every need.  And I can tell anyone who is about to have children or whatever, that it’s gonna rock your world, it’s gonna change your life but you pretty much won’t understand until you’re there.  It’s beautiful.  It’s amazing.  It’s powerful.  Kids are a joy there’s no doubt about it.

(interviewer) Anybody else have anything they want to add in?

(Lee) The question you had said earlier about as a young guy what were the thoughts going through my mind.  I couldn’t help but just think, I mean one of the leaders at one point in time said that they’re bringing godly young men into Mercy Ministries to show these girls what that’s like. And the thought that went in my head, I have to make sure that I step up my game and that I am living what I say I am.  And I couldn’t help but have this disgust from the way pop culture has taught us what is the norm and all that stuff.  It just it left me with a really bad feeling.  But more importantly a conviction to change that and make sure I know that I am viewing all these situations, even these young girls at Mercy Ministries, the way God does.  That was definitely a big conviction of mine when I walked out of the doors at Mercy Ministries.

Learn more about Mercy Ministries at

Designing Spaces on Lifetime with Kanwa Surfaces

The following segment aired on Lifetime Television. Joining the show was Vince Albachiaro to discuss Kanwa Surfaces.

Designing Spaces: Next up on “Designing Spaces:” counter tops.  Now, if you like the look of marble but maybe it’s a bit out of your price range, we’ve got a great alternative for you! We went to Sanford, Florida to get the story.

Fasculo: Whether a new home or a kitchen or bathroom remodeling project, your choice for counter tops and wash basins is important to both the style and function.  With a natural appearance of stone becoming increasing popular, more counter tops are taking on the granite look.  With the beauty of granite come certain limitations.  Designers and manufactures have been developing new materials that capture that beauty of polished stone without the downside.  I’m here with Vince Albachiaro from Designs and Solid Surface, a Florida authorized pre-owned fabricator.  And, Vince, we need not look far around this kitchen to see what jumps out at us.

Albachiaro: We have a beautiful countertop here, don’t we?

Fasculo: We really, really do.  And I think most people who are watching at home would think that this is some sort of stone or quartz, but in fact it’s not!

Albachiaro: No, this is premier solid surfacing from Kanwa Surfaces.

Fasculo: Very nice.

Albachiaro: Yes, it’s a solid surface—the premier solid surface.  So it’s totally seamless, it is environmentally friendly, it’s durable, it’s stain, chemical-resistant, and resistant to heat also.

Fasculo: Wow!  You know, I find it unique that you said it’s environmentally friendly.  How do you make a countertop environmentally friendly?

Albachiaro: Well, we’re very concerned about the environment.  And that’s why we use 22% recycled materials in the beautiful countertop that we have here.

Fasculo: That is something we all need to concern ourselves with.

Albachiaro: Absolutely.

Fasculo: Also, I mean, when I look at this I think what it might cost for this to be a stone.  In fact, it’s seamless; it would be ten times what you would pay for this.

Albachiaro: Yes.  Solid surfacing allows you to have a seamless appearance in a continuous running surface, where you can have coal back-splashes, intricate sinks, and you can use it in many different areas.  Let’s talk about some of the different colors and applications that we have.  It comes in twelve beautiful colors.  This one, Tumo, is our color that we’re using here in the kitchen.  And again, because it’s a solid surface, it’s easy to clean and easy to maintain.

Fasculo (Designing Spaces): You know what?  I love some of the names of these.  I see Rhythmic Shine, and Orange Moon, Leche, Tiara, all across the board.  So literally, something for every kitchen!

Albachiaro: Absolutely.  Also, it’s great for use in bathrooms.  It has an NSF 51 Certification for food service applications.

Designing Spaces: And I also understand it’s very easy to clean.  Can you go ahead and give me a demonstration?

Albachiaro: It is really simple.  It’s simple soap and water—just a wiping on the surface and a wiping off.  Because it’s nonporous, nothing penetrates it.  Where, with natural stones and granites and quartzes, any of those products—they can absorb water.  And that’s where mold and mildew grows.  And that’s what you can’t get with the solid surfaces.

Designing Spaces: Especially great for us who have little kids.

Albachiaro: Absolutely.

Designing Spaces: Now, I also understand that there is a quality about Breon that most people probably wouldn’t understand.  Could you describe that to me?

Albachiaro: Well, they say this material actually admits far more infrared rays, which is supposed to have a soothing and calming effect on the people in the kitchen.

Designing Spaces: This is a good thing, especially around Thanksgiving so I can cook that turkey and be calm throughout the entire ordeal.

Albachiaro: That’s what they say. I prefer a glass of wine.  But that is what they say.

Designing Spaces: Well, that sounds great!  I’m calm already. Vince, thank you so much for inviting me into this lovely kitchen.  This Henwa Surfaces Breon line is fantastic.

Albachiaro: Thank you very much, Brian.

Designing Spaces: Feeling good in the kitchen, I’m Brian Fasculo!

About Designing Spaces on Lifetime Television

The “Designing Spaces” TV show on Lifetime is a half-hour informative series that inspires viewers to make every space count.  “Designing Spaces” instructs them on the smartest ways to make their homes more beautiful and functional.  To view episodes of “Designing Spaces” online, just go to If you have a great idea for a story, or want to be a part of the “Designing Spaces” show, please contact LysaLiemer at If you have a great idea for a story, or want to be a part of the show please contact LysaLiemer at You can also find us on Twitter at @DSpacesTV or on Facebook at:!

CWD Construction: Renovating Your Back Yard

CWD Construction has built a name for itself in North and South Carolina as a premier homebuilder and renovation company. But clients are finding a new way to utilize CWD Construction’s superior interior design and remodeling services. Increasingly, clients are seeking out CWD Construction for help with outdoor entertainment.

Through a partnership with a great local pool contractor, CWD Construction is able to provide the same quality services outside a client’s home as they offer indoors. For years, the CWD Construction team has listened to customers bemoan the inconsistent quality from pool providers in the area. They’ve repeatedly asked CWD Construction to build their pool for them, and now this service is available through a partnership with CWD Construction and a local trusted contractor. This contractor shares CWD Construction’s dedication to providing custom design and platinum quality workmanship.

Pool packages are currently available for new and existing homes, says the team at CWD Construction. But pools aren’t the only outdoor upgrade the company provides. CWD specializes in turning your indoor living space into the home of your dreams and the same can be done for your outdoor areas, as well. If you are a lover of nature, CWD Construction can turn the back yard into a personal oasis, creating stone patios and outdoor kitchens and grilling areas.

If you like to entertain, CWD Construction can transform a back yard into an ideal entertainment area, with a cabana, a recessed seating area, and CWD Construction’s own personal touches that make your outdoor areas a retreat. As with all of CWD’s design projects, the company takes special care to construct each square inch of its outdoor projects to exceed standard building codes. While Sonia Dohm has an interior design background, Chuck Dohm is a trained engineer who has high standards for each of their projects.

Working alongside the design architect, CWD Construction’s Chuck Dohm ensures each structural header is secured with bolts instead of nails, which prevents sagging over time. Instead of handing out jobs to the lowest bidder, CWD Construction works hard to develop lasting relationships with subcontractors who share the company’s vision.

Known throughout North and South Carolina for their work, CWD Construction provides the highest quality, whether it’s in the grade of paint or flooring to the materials used to secure foundations and roofing. Residents have grown to be able to spot a CWD Construction home at first sight, simply by its upgraded kitchen or dream bathroom. This is a philosophy the company continues to carry forward to its outdoor living spaces.

To learn more, visit CWD Construction online at

DR Marketing Group on Lifetime with Backyard Botanical

The following segment aired on Incredible Discoveries. Joining the show was Backyard Botanical to discusshome gardens.

DR Marketing Group:You can tendto your own garden in a backyard, townhouse courtyard, condominium, or just about anywhere.It’s so easy and fool-proof that any one at any age can do it.

Backyard Botanical:You can grow flowers, herbs, and your very own spices fresh from your own backyard to your dining room table. It doesn’t matter where you live or how little space you have.It’s all possible, thanks to the one-of-a-kind 4 by 4 Backyard Botanical, Eden Garden.

DR Marketing Group:Now, seasonal gardening is simple, convenient, and available to anyone, anywhere you live.Even if you have a big backyard, tending an oversized garden can just be too much work, with kids, jobs and other demands on your time.

Backyard Botanical:The versatility, convenience and personal satisfaction of the Backyard Botanical Eden Garden makes the most of your time and space.It’s easy to use, it’s self-sufficient, and there’s very little work involved.

DR Marketing Group:It’s handy, it’s out-of-the-way, and it’s an education tool for my children to get to grow things and it’s just an easy system to use.

Backyard Botanical:Believe it or not, it’s is all you need to grow your own eco-friendly, fresh garden.The patented 4 by 4 Backyard Botanical is a raised bed, ready-to-assemble, self-contained gardening system, measuring 20 inches high.

DR Marketing Group:Raised bed gardeningholds the soil above the ground for a custom soil mix that is perfect for your crops.

Backyard Botanical:It also allows for easy access without tilling, walking, and compacting the soil. Because the Backyard Botanical is raised, you’re not bent over, adding stress and strain to your back, your knees, and your whole body.

DR Marketing Group:Not only is the bed held in special polyethylene planting tubs to promote better root attachment and expansion, but the overall structure, including built-in trellis, is made of special, decay resistant natural cedar, which is ideal for moist environments.

Backyard Botanical:It also featuresdurable, vinyl coated fence that stands up to whatever your kids, pets, or even small rodents can throw at it.

DR Marketing Group:Everything you need to assemble and maintain your garden is right at your fingertips, making the Backyard Botanical Eden Garden the easiest, most versatile garden you can find.

Backyard Botanical:It really is a self-contained little backyard garden.  So there is no reason that anyone today can’t grow their own produce, you don’t have to go to the grocery store and pay 5 dollars for a tomato, you can grow your own and they taste better and you don’t need a lot of room for it.

DR Marketing Group:In today’s economy, none of us have a lot of time or a lot of money, and for what you get in such a small package, it’s really a very good product.

DR Marketing Group:Can I grow my flowers, herb and vegetables at the same time?

Backyard Botanical:We’re happy to tell you the answer is a resounding Yes.The Backyard Botanical Eden Garden features 16 square feet of planting area – 16 square feet. That’s enough to grow vegetables for a family of four or enough flowers for a wedding party.

DR Marketing Group:The Backyard Botanical Eden Garden makes the most of square foot gardening, so you get almost twice the harvest in half the space of a conventional row garden. It even features a built-in trellis to increase your growing area – vertically!

Backyard Botanical:Did you know that the Burpee Seed Company reports that gardeners can harvest $1,250 worth of produce with just an investment of $50 in seed and fertilizer?  Which means the Backyard Botanical Eden Garden will more than pay for itself in the very first year!

DR Marketing Group:When you grow your own food and produce, you know it’s fresh, homegrown, and organic, free of any pesticides or chemicals.

Backyard Botanical:The quality in the food, like the taste – the tomatoes are sweeter, the broccoli is crunchier – it’s more of a wholesome, fresh taste.

DR Marketing Group:It truly is more delicious growing it organically and it’s less expensive then having to go purchase organic food at the grocery store.

DR Marketing Group, based in Pompano Beach Florida, is a wholly owned subsidiary of O2 Media Inc, and the sister company of  Quorum Productions Inc., BrandStar Entertainment and O2 Production Studios Inc.  DR Marketing Group is a turn-key marketing agency focused on developing and implementing brand integration strategies. With core competencies in direct response (DR) television production, branded entertainment, online & mobile marketing, and product distribution, DR Marketing Group is able to respond quickly and efficiently in order to meet the demands of an increasingly competitive marketplace. For more information about DR Marketing Group, please visit or contact Christopher Seega, Vice President of Brand Development and Marketing, at 954-691-1102.

Ian Woodman Memorable Holidays: Honeymoon Cruise

Of Ian Woodman’s many memorable vacations, his honeymoon cruise in 2004 stands out. Ian Woodman and his wife Becky were so impressed with one of the destinations, the Bahamas, that they chose to revisit it for their seven-year anniversary.

A cruise is a preferred way to travel for many reasons, Ian Woodman explains. First, he says, is that it gives you a small taste of several destinations in one trip. According to Ian Woodman, most ships stop in several ports during a one-week or two-week trip, with tours available at each stop. And as Ian Woodman found, you may often discover destinations for future vacations during these stops, returning to spend more time in the future.

During Ian Woodman’s honeymoon cruise, he and his wife were treated to a taste of Jamaica, Cozumel, and the Bahamas. While in Jamaica, Mr. and Mrs. Ian Woodman were treated to a view of Dunn’s Falls, a popular destination for tourists. Visitors of Dunn’s Falls can climb up to six hundred feet while enjoying breathtaking views while led by a guide. As Ian Woodman explains, climbing is, of course, optional and some simply choose to stand on the sidelines, taking pictures. At the base of the waterfall is a beach where visitors can relax, while those who make it all the way to the top will find souvenir shops. Ian Woodman calls Dunn’s Falls a must-see destination for anyone visiting Jamaica, adding that it is one of the most amazing things he’s ever done.

In Cozumel, Ian Woodman and his wife were able to swim with the dolphins for the first time. It proved to be such an incredible experience that he swam with dolphins five times within the next seven years. According to Ian Woodman, Dolphin Discovery provides a variety of packages for visitors. Ian Woodman notes the Dolphin Royal Swim, which allows you and your family to swim with the dolphins. This swim includes the famous foot push, where two dolphins pull you along as you stand on them. The Dolphin Swim Adventure allows you to watch the dolphins with a snorkeling mask, Ian Woodman describes, and the Dolphin Encounter is specifically designed for children.

In addition to being able to visit a variety of locations, Ian Woodman and his wife were impressed by all the offerings on the cruise ship itself. There seemed to always be something to do, Ian Woodman explains, with delicious meals and fun activities making every minute of the trip as excitement-filled as possible.

Alamo-Based Timothy Powers Notes Increased Demand for Rental Properties

With the housing market in such turmoil, Alamo, California’s Timothy Powers points out that one area is fluctuating: rental properties. Banks have tightened down loan procedures to the point that even consumers with good credit are having a hard time purchasing a house, Timothy Powers of Alamo points out.

Luckily for Americans, rental properties are in available, giving prospective renters a choice beyond the traditional apartment or condo rental, Alamo’s Timothy Powers says. Timothy Powers of Alamo points out that desperate homeowners, who may be unable to pay a mortgage while waiting months, possibly even years, are putting properties up for rent. According to Timothy Powers of Alamo, this creates plenty of rental opportunities for those who can’t qualify for a home or would actually prefer to rent. This group of homeowners may be risky renting from because the property may go into foreclosure and you might be expected to move earlier then anticipated sites, Tim Powers of Alamo.

Experts are saying the home market could take years to rebound, Timothy Powers of Alamo points out, meaning homeowners could be stuck in homes for years. Many of these homeowners are now “upside down” in their mortgages, Alamo’s Timothy Powers points out, meaning they owe more than they could get if they sold. Homeowners are advised to wait it out, according to Timothy Powers of Alamo, but that isn’t always an option, as forced relocation and inability to afford monthly payments force homeowners to find a way out of a mortgage.

Unfortunately, the economy has forced many homeowners to fall behind on mortgage payments, Timothy Powers of Alamo says, leading them to eventually face foreclosure. As owner of East Bay Foreclosure Support, Alamo’s Timothy Powers assists homeowners who have fallen on hard times. These homeowners often have no choice but to turn to renting, Alamo-based Timothy Powers says, and with the damage foreclosure does to credit, landlords are hesitant to rent. In addition, Timothy Powers of Alamo points out that rent costs are on the rise in general, causing cash-poor consumers to desperately seek out lower-rent properties.

Alamo’s Timothy Powers does note, however, that the market means good news for investors. The time has never been better to buy into rental property, Timothy Powers of Alamo observes. Since housing prices are lower than they have been in years and rent prices are on the rise, a landlord stands to make money right now. And, better yet, eventually property values will begin climbing again, making that investment pay off  over the years.

Alamo-based Timothy Powers is a twenty-year veteran of the real estate market, specializing in foreclosures. Timothy Powers of Alamo recently founded East Bay Foreclosure Support, a business that provides free foreclosure support to families in need.