What’s your ‘TV persona’? Picking the set that’s right for you

What%27s%20your%20%27TV%20persona%27%3F Long gone are the days when TVs were a “one size fits all” proposition, when all you really wanted was the right size box for your living room: a picture tube TV with an unassuming appearance, only matched by its archaic remote controller. Today, the game has changed, and the choices of flat-panel HDTVs are almost as diverse as the viewing audience.
With so many options available, how do you choose the TV that fits your needs, personal interests and living space? Often, viewers’ personalities and habits say a lot about what type of TV is best suited for their lives. You can help refine your search for the right TV by identifying your “TV persona.”
The TV experts offer some insight into five TV-watching personality types, and some tips for choosing a product that matches your personality:
1. The Videophile 
A nice picture and decent sound isn’t going to do it for the videophile. These technological perfectionists pay close attention to details and optimal viewing conditions. Videophiles want the best picture and audio quality possible, including a full backlit LED array that delivers a brighter, smoother, cleaner picture. They want a refresh rate that virtually eliminates motion blur and delivers crystal clear images. Like a new car they’re most likely to show-off their shiny “rims,” or supplementary sound system, too – at least a soundbar, but most often a powerful home theater system that blows the windows out of any living room.
2. The Family Man/Woman
This consumer desires a high-end experience at an affordable price. Other monetary considerations – like mortgages, day care costs and family vacations – inspire them to seek the most bang for their buck when it comes to their TVs. They also need to please multiple viewers with content that pleases all ages – from kids that watch cartoons to teenagers that want to get their video “game on” and parents that just want to kick back and enjoy a movie. They need a TV with options, one that offers 3D and Internet-connected “Smart TV,” like LG’s LM6700. With six pairs of theater-like, flicker-free 3D glasses that require no batteries or recharging, outfitting the entire family is easy and inexpensive. Built-in Smart TV capability affords simple access to limitless content, including movies, TV shows, songs, live games, apps and personal video.
3. The Bachelor/Sports Fan
With fewer responsibilities, the single-person viewer often has a little bit more free cash and doesn’t mind spending a little extra on a big purchase. These viewers seek step-up- picture quality and faster refresh rates that helps them to view sports, video games and high-speed action with less motion blur.  They’re also not afraid to splurge on all the extras, such as Smart TV, 3D functionality and built-in Wi-Fi and demand a sleek, aesthetically pleasing package that looks high end.
4. The Internet Junkie/Multitasker
Google TV will win the heart of this type of consumer, who enjoys Web surfing for information and uses a variety of streaming services. These technology devotees demand a TV that offers a dual-core processor that provides improved streaming and picture quality when streaming online content or browsing the Web with its Google Chrome browser. They like familiarity and want the same user experience on their phones, tablets and now their TV. They also crave the kind of user-friendly navigation capabilities provided by LG’s gesture-based Magic Remote with Qwerty keyboard. Like an air mouse, it has point/click, a scrolling wheel and the ease of a keyboard, not to mention voice recognition, overall a familiar experience for computer lovers.
5. The Recent Grad/First-timer
These consumers have just finished college, started their first professional job and are looking for just the basics for their first home. A standard LCD or plasma TV can give them the biggest screen for less money. Bells and whistles and aesthetics take a back seat to solid picture quality.
With a little research and a firm understanding of your TV persona, you can find the right television to fit your needs, budget and lifestyle.

Courtesy of ARA

Dreaming of a stress-free holiday party

Dreaming%20of%20a%20stress-free%20holiday%20partyThe holidays are the perfect time to reconnect and mingle with family and friends. However, the stress of hosting holiday get-togethers can sometimes be discouraging. This year, avoid a festivity fiasco by keeping in mind the following five preparation tips:

1. Turn kitchen chatters into hostess helpers: The day before your party, dig out all of the serving dishes you plan to use. After cleaning off the dusty ones, write the name of each menu item on a piece of self-stick paper, and place it on the appropriate dish. That way, when your kitchen visitors ask to help, you can simply point them to the pre-selected serving pieces that need to be filled.

2. Be your own barista: Add a creative and interactive activity to your party with a hot beverage bar; apple cider, cocoa and coffee can all be given a holiday twist by guests. Simply go to your local grocery store or specialty food shop for a selection of colored sugars, flavored sauces, marshmallows, whipped cream and cinnamon and peppermint sticks for your guests to add to their drinks. Not only is this a yummy addition to any holiday party, but it will keep your guests entertained while you’re putting the last touches on your holiday dessert.

3. Let the food be the star: Almost everyone likes the warm, sweet smells of the holiday season, but avoid the urge to stock up on and burn scented holiday candles that can overpower a room. Instead, reach for the scentless candles in festive holiday colors and allow the aroma of your food and beverages to set the mood.

4. Give the gift of leftovers: Everyone likes to share their leftovers but no one likes to rush around looking for matching bowls and lids when it’s time for guests to go home. Make this process easier by using inexpensive wax-lined paper cartons (bought at craft stores). This will allow guests to transport food home without the hassle of returning your expensive storage containers – something everyone will appreciate. If you have extra time before the party starts, customize containers by adding each guest’s name and the date of your party.

5. ‘Tis the season for drips, dribbles and spills: Stains left by gravy, red wine and cranberry sauce are some of the toughest to remove, and they are all, unfortunately, par for the course at holiday gatherings. Luckily, hosts and hostesses can turn to an expert this holiday season for stain advice: The Clorox Holiday Stain Hotline (877) STAIN-411, hosted by stain scientist Mary Gagliardi (a.k.a. “Dr. Laundry”), will be available 24/7 throughout the season. Callers simply dial up the hotline, choose from a selection of the season’s toughest stain dilemmas, and are guided through the proper course of treatment. Now, you can also celebrate those inevitable messy moments at http://www.bleachitaway.com a new community that invites visitors to share their own stories and commiserate with other moment survivors, while receiving real-time advice and solutions from Clorox’s panel of cleaning and laundry experts. Everyone who shares a story has a chance to win $25,000.

Courtesy of ARA

Easy kitchen updates that won’t break the bank

Easy%20kitchen%20updates%20that%20won%27t%20break%20the%20bankIt goes without saying that the kitchen is one of the hardest-working rooms in the home. For most, it’s the heart of family life and usually the one room where everyone gathers together. With so much hustle and bustle, it’s no wonder that the kitchen runs the risk of looking overworked.
A remodeled kitchen not only reinvigorates the space, but the home overall. This isn’t always easy to accomplish though, as a full-blown renovation can be quite expensive and time-consuming. However, even on a tight budget, there are plenty of ways to spruce up the room without breaking the bank. 
As dirt and grease build up over time, appliances around the kitchen can appear old and dull. The easiest way to rejuvenate those appliances without spending a fortune on new ones is by giving them a thorough cleaning. Since the stove is often used most, it’s a good place to start. Clean the entire surface inside and out using a product that is safe for all surfaces. Try Goo Gone Foaming Kitchen Grease Cleaner to cut through the baked-on grease and stuck-on grime clinging to your stove without needing to scrub. Get into every nook and cranny until it sparkles. 
After the stove is clean, repeat the process for the microwave, backsplash, oven hood, sink and countertops. All of your kitchen appliances will begin to look like new again, and your kitchen won’t seem so worn and outdated. 
Once finished with the kitchen surfaces, consider some other affordable updates that can make a huge impact:
Paint the cabinets – A lackluster room can quickly become re-energized with a vibrant new color. Repaint the cabinets a lively hue to brighten the space or freshen the existing paint color with a new coat. 
Update fixtures – Don’t expect that the faucet handles you installed more than 10 years ago will last another 10. In addition to being practical, kitchen fixtures can add style and enhance overall design. Look for fixtures that fit your kitchen motif, whether it’s modern and sleek or shabby chic. 
Change existing hardware – Think of hardware as jewelry for the kitchen. Add new glass or metal knobs, or bars to highlight cabinets and enhance the overall style of the room. If using metal hardware, choose one type and stick to it for a clean, uniform look.
Create shelving – Removing cabinet doors to create shelving can provide a sense of openness and additional space. Simply remove cabinet doors and fill in holes with wood filler. Then, sand until smooth and paint as desired. You can also paint the inside of the newly open cabinets as a decorative treatment.
Introduce new fabric – Are your cushions looking dingy and outdated? Re-cover chairs or stools with bright, patterned fabric that reflects your personality. Also consider framing the space with new curtains that liven up your “new” kitchen.
Find your green thumb – Instead of buying fresh herbs at the grocery store or farmers market, plant them in pots in your kitchen. They will help add freshness to both the atmosphere and your food (while saving you money).
Don’t forget about the floor – Update floors without the significant cost associated with new flooring by simply adding a rug. Find a rug that’s durable to high foot traffic, but also complements your kitchen style.
Complete all the updates, or pick and choose to make a difference even on the smallest budget. This process will certainly work on other areas of the home as well. Just as with the kitchen, always start with a good cleaning to instantly revitalize the items in your home. To save time and money, use products designed to clean multiple surfaces – including carpeting, upholstery, hard surfaces and morE. Then, look around to see what can be updated without a complete renovation. Your home will have a fresh appeal in no time. 

Courtesy of ARA