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Debut Album from Christian Music Duo Mere Messengers Garners Covenant Award Nomination for Pop Album of the Year

Creative Soul Records duo Mere Messengers is headed to the Covenant Awards this weekend where their debut album, Everything Everywhere, has been nominated for “Pop Album of The Year.” Produced by Eric Copeland for Creative Soul Records, a Nashville-based music company associated with Word Entertainment, the Canadian group recorded Everything Everywhere in Nashville with the some of Music City‘s top session players.

The Covenant Awards will be held on Saturday, January 27th at Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton, AB. The Covenant Awards are the leading national awards for Canadian Christian Music. Over 30 awards are presented annually by GMA Canada – a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the growth and ministry of Christian music arts in Canada. For a full list of nominees, visit

Mere Messengers is comprised of Sarah Echegoyen and Greg Nason, who first collaborated in the faith-based band, Taking Jericho. When the group disbanded, Sarah and Greg continued to write and record new songs, and soon recognized that their combined efforts resulted in something greater than they could accomplish individually. With vibrant melodies and insightful lyrics that speak to the hearts of all who listen, Mere Messengers is ready to show the world that music can truly unify us all.

For more information, visit the official website at


7 Things Retailers Can Learn from The Apple Store

7 Things Retailers Can Learn from The Apple Store

If you want to be the best, you have to learn from the best. In the retail business, there’s no one better than Apple. According to recent data released by eMarketer and CoStar, Apple remains the top retailer in the sales per square foot category, earning $5,546 per square foot of retail space! Apple’s new product launches are highly anticipated, and they have a great reputation among customers and employees.

What are the reasons behind their success? In this article, we look at the vision, culture, and design that power the world’s most valuable company, and share how retailers can learn from Apple to be at the top of their game.

Here are the top 7 lessons retailers can learn from Apple:

1. Allow People to Test Drive Your Products

When you enter an Apple Store, one of the first things you notice is that all the notebook computer screens are positioned just slightly over 90 degrees. This position lets you see the screen, but it also invites you to touch the machine and use it. Furthermore, all devices in the store are connected to the internet. Customers can use any device for as long as they want–no time limit. If you think Apple is just being really generous, think again.

Apple stores have rows of laptops to attract customers to interact with them
Source: Quartz

Apple knows that touching products increases the likelihood of a sale. In a study from Ohio State University, researchers found that the longer you touch a product, the higher the value you assign to it in your mind. Experts suggest that touch increases a consumer’s sense of ownership, which compels the shopper to make the purchase.



About the Author

Henry Kanapi

Henry Kanapi is a staff writer for Fit Small Business specializing in business and e-commerce. Henry ran small businesses while working as an editor for a small business/motivational website before joining the Fit Small Business team. When not writing, he’s busy organizing poetry slam events or playing basketball.

How to Play Electric Guitar a Beginner’s Guide

How to Play Electric Guitar a Beginner’s Guide

Globally, there has been a rampant increase in difficulty learning an electric guitar for beginners. This is due to various technical hiccups in playing an electronic one.  Most beginners find it difficult to play it, and usually feel scared to speak out the challenges.

Are you a beginner? Well, you have to calm down and read this guide carefully.There is nothing too hard about playing an electric guitar. You can become a legend if you know how to play electric guitar well.  For you to be able to be a specialist in this sector, all you need is following the procedure in the guide.

I will take you through on how to play electric guitar.  Before that, you should keep in mind that, the beauty of being a guitar player is not about perfection; its beauty is about self-expression.

There are major plans that you should consider when playing an electric guitar include the following:


Pick your first guitar

It is wise to keep in mind how you pick your first guitar matters.  This is because you might choose the inappropriate one and it will make you hate playing.  To get the best electric guitar, be realistic with yourself about the initial investment you are willing to make.

In other words, I advise you to choose an affordable one and the one that captivates your eyes.  This will help you to love, learn and be eager in playing it.  Make sure you are comfortable with it.

Use the available resources

Well, there are some free resources that you opt to fully maximize and utilize them. A good example is the internet.  The internet contains many sources that you might read and learn how to play an electric guitar.

In addition, YouTube contains all the visual procedures that you might observe and put into practice.  Furthermore, you can observe pictures from an internet and imitate what is being done in your learning process.

It is also advantageous to play music with only a few chords.  This is an effective plan since you will easily be able to learn and understand what you are expected to do.  The few chords help you to graduate from simple to complex chords.

Love your guitar

Loving your guitar will give you the thirst to play it.  Even if you hate it, find something positive about it, and with this, you will able to adore it.  For you to achieve it, consider the following

  • Play on the frustration, the pain and any desire to just put it down
  • Never give up and play it regularly than to clock up time
  • Aim in achieving to play different chords each day
  • Learn what you like, and dislike about the songs you like

Personalize your guitar

Personalizing your guitar is convenient since you will be able to adapt to it.  This is achieved by purchasing the one that fits your body, style, and sound.  If it is difficult to find your taste, you can also make your own if you have the experience or consult a professional. Constructing your own is better because it will be suitable for your arms and you will love it more.

The above-named plans will grayly help you to play an electric guitar.  On the other hand, there are some ways on how to play it and they include the following methods.  The first method concerns teaching yourself.

Set your guitar properly

Setting your guitar properly is the key issue and can be achieved if you get a guitar pro at the learning store.  When you set your guitar well, you will get the best sound.

Listen well and repeat frequently

It is advisable to listen to what you are playing.  This will help you know the mistake and direct you to be more creative.  In addition, frequently repeating plucking the strings makes you be conversant with the tone and melody

Repetition also makes you can know and learn the key, melody, and tone when playing it.  It also helps in improving listening skills.

Combine the simple and complex stuff

Well, sometimes you experience difficulty after combining simple and complex play.  Take a break from playing a hard stuff by playing an easier one.  This will make your fingers flexible, steadily and keeps you from being discouraged.

You have to improve the hard things than what you expect.  This will make you grow as a guitarist.

Evade stomp boxes during practice

The advantage of avoiding the stomp boxes is it covers errors in technique.  Avoiding it increases your learning process easy and convenient.

The second method on how to play an electric guitar involves learning from the professions, and they include the following

Find a role model

Finding a role model plays a vital role in learning.  You may learn through watching and hearing.  Role models make you achieve the best result regardless of what the music style you prefer.

Know how to read the music

Reading the music style makes you a pro in it.  The strings are played in different notes which you opt to learn.

Training the notes can be tough, but learning and training the skills will help you.  The music style you are learning involves tedium, repetition, and difficulties.  After learning, you need to practice on a daily basis in order to master the content.

Final words

Learning to play the electric guitar is something that is easy to do.  As a beginner, you have to take the guide seriously and do frequent practice and become the next six-string virtuoso.  There is a lot is required and the passionate beginners are able to be good guitarists at last.

The named plans and guides above are vital for you the beginner as you focus being a guitarist.



12 Air Purifying Plants That Will Clean Your Air

We need fresh air to live a healthy and full life, but it’s fast becoming a luxury. Residents of many major cities around the world are plagued with smog and poisonous gases from motor vehicles, fossil fuel based power plants, and factories.

The good news is there is a simple solution you can use at home to make your air much cleaner. While air purifiers might help, air purifying plants are a great and natural way to clean your home’s air supply. In this article, you’ll learn more about air pollution, its dangers, and how to choose the best air purifying plants for your home.


The Pollutant Problem

According to the World Health Organization (WHO)4.6 million people lose their lives to air pollution-related diseases each year.

The World Health Organization also published research which showed that nine out of ten people in the world (that’s 92 percent) live in places where air pollution exceeds the recommended safe limit.

And it’s not just humans that are suffering. Our planet continuously experiences stratospheric ozone depletion due to the sheer number of pollutants released by humans.

There have been measures put in place to combat this issue, such as the 1970 Clean Air Act in the US, the switch to hybrid vehicles, and the adoption of solar energy in countries throughout the world. Yet there’s still a lot left to be done to improve the quality of the air we breathe.


A Novel Pollution Solution

Fresh air is one luxury money can’t buy… or can it? In May 2017, the BBCpublished a report about a company in China that compresses and sells bottled air. As weird as it sounds, it exists and there is a (perhaps necessary) market for it.

With air pollution presenting a serious problem worldwide, it’s no wonder people are willing to pay as much as $24 for an eight-liter can of compressed air or $75 for an anti-pollution mask.

And it’s not just China and India. These fresh air companies are sprouting up in the UK and Canada as well. The UK company Aethaer sells jars of air at £80 plus £12 shipping.


Indoor Air Pollution

Indoor pollution refers to the toxic contaminants we encounter daily in our homes, workplaces and schools.

A significant number of deaths from indoor pollution can be traced to prolonged exposure to smoke from cooking stoves. Additionally, environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is one of the leading causes of indoor pollution, which is composed of more than 7,000 chemical compounds.

Other sources of indoor air pollution include household solvents such as glues, degreasers, synthetic building materials, cleaning agents, pesticides, odorless and colorless radon gases, and carbon monoxide. This only gets worse when we’re constantly inside during the winter with the heating on full blast.

Research shows that living somewhere with little to no ventilation can lead to what is known as “sick building syndrome.” This is very common among office workers, with symptoms including nausea, fatigue, headaches, throat irritation and dizziness (just to mention a few). In severe cases, it can result in asthma, bronchitis and even cancer.

The good news is the solution is simple. According to the NASA Clean Air Studywe can drastically improve air quality with the help of certain plants.


Scientists have shown that certain plants are able to absorb gases such as benzene and even formaldehyde through the pores on their leaves. This process of cleaning the air using plants is known as phytoremediation.

The Science of Phytoremediation

Phytoremediation is the most sustainable solution for reducing indoor pollution. There are several forms this can take:

Phytostimulation – The improvement of microbial activity in the soil so as to hasten the degradation of contaminants.

Phytotransformation – Chemically modifying the substances in the soil, water and air via plant metabolism.

Phytovolatilization – Removing contaminants from soil or water using plants and releasing them into the air by means of transpiration.

Plants that Help Purify the Air

According to research, indoor plants have the potential to remove up to 70 percent of the volatile organic compounds (VOC) in indoor air. Listed below are 12 indoor plants that can get you one-step closer to breathing fresh, clean air in your home.

1.  Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera)

In addition to having healing properties, this perennial plant filters formaldehyde and benzene out of the air in your home. And green thumb or not, this plant will bloom with ease as long as it’s situated in a spot with plenty of sunlight.

2.  Gerbera Daisies/African Daisies (Gerbera Jamesonii)

This is another perennial plant scientists believe can improve indoor air quality by removing carbon monoxide and benzene. Gerber daisies have bright and colorful flowers. Yet unlike aloe vera, they’re not as easy to grow indoors, as they prefer outdoor conditions.

This beautiful flower that’s native to South Africa requires partial shade to full sun. If you’re in the North, you’ll want to place this flower in full sun. If you’re in the South, your best bet will be partial shade.

You should also know that this plant is expensive and requires well-drained soil that’s been enriched with compost. That being said, having clean air to breathe in your home is priceless.


3.  Areca Palm (Chrysalidocarpus Lutescens)

This Madagascan native plant has a knack for absorbing benzene, carbon monoxide, and formaldehyde.

It’s a go-to plant for bright interiors with its bold, arching fronds that demand to be admired. It’s best to purchase this indoor plant while it’s still at table-top size. Keep in mind that it grows as much as six to ten inches annually and will reach six to seven feet indoors, and as much as 25 feet outdoors at full maturity.


4.  Dendrobium Phalaenopsis

If you’re trying to rid the air in your home of xylene, a pollutant that comes from glue and paint, then try placing these lovely orchids in your home.

This type of orchid is native to Australia and Southeast Asia. No need to worry if you’re not a natural gardener, this plant will bloom easily through the spring.

For best results, grow them under direct bright light. Leaving them in the shade will prevent them from growing straight up.


5.  Boston Fern (Nephrolepis Exaltata)

The Boston Fern can absorb formaldehyde better than any other known air purifying plant. In addition to that, they are adept at ridding the air of other pollutants such as xylene and benzene, which can be found in paints as well as gasoline exhaust fumes.

The Boston Fern needs weekly feedings in the summer and monthly feedings during winter. Take care to water them regularly to keep them blooming beautifully.


6. Spider Plant (Chlorohytum Comosum)

The spider plant, or airplane plant, is one of the top 3 houseplants NASA says is great at removing formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and other toxins from the air.

Spider plants adapt easily to any environment and don’t require too much attention. They love indirect but bright light, lots of water and well-drained soil. Misting the plant regularly will rid it of pests like spider mites and aphids.


7. Snake Plants (Sansevieria Trifasciata ‘Laurentii’)

Also known as the mother-in-law’s tongue or viper’s bowstring, this is a flowering plant belonging to the Asparagaceae family of plants commonly found in Nigeria and the Congo.

It removes up to 107 known air pollutants including chloroform, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, xylene, benzene, nitrogen monoxide and trichloroethylene, just to mention a few.

The snake plant can be identified by its green bordered leaves while the mother-in-law species has a yellow border. This is a tough little plant – great for non-gardeners. Just make sure you don’t overwater it. You’ll want to keep this plant in the bedroom due to the large amounts of oxygen it emits at night.


8. Golden Pothos (Scindapsus Aures)

If you require a fast growing, air purifying indoor plant that’s beautiful to look at, then this is the plant for you. It looks like a slimmer, less stiff version of the snake plant and is known for its formaldehyde absorption properties.

It doesn’t require any special type of light to grow and is equally easy to maintain. However, this is not a plant to have at home if you have small children, as it can be toxic when consumed.


9. Chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum Morifolium)

This plant is quite colorful and perfect for brightening up a dull looking space. They are seasonal, but when they bloom, they’re great benzene fighting plants. Scientists have tagged benzene as a carcinogen found in plastics, dyes, pesticides and detergents.

Chrysanthemums also aid in the removal of ammonia, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene, all commonly found in cleaning agents.

This plant requires a significant amount of sunlight to bloom, so for best results, place this in an area where it can get direct sunlight.


10. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

As classy and delicate as this plant looks, it packs a powerful VOC absorbing capability that makes it extremely useful to have in the house. It gets rid of benzene, trichloroethylene, formaldehyde and other pollutants in poorly ventilated areas.

It also eliminates mold spores so is perfect to have in the bathroom or kitchen. Peace lilies favor areas with low lighting conditions. But just like the Golden Pothos, this isn’t a plant you want in your home if you have children or pets running around, as the leaves are poisonous when ingested.


11. Schefflera / Umbrella Tree (Brassaia Actinophylla)

You can identify this plant by its oval-shaped glossy looking leaves that almost look like they’ve been waxed. They are beautiful to look at, but are toxic and so not suitable for homes with pets and children.

However, the Schefflera has proven useful in the removal of benzene and toluene, making this the perfect plant for a smoker’s home.


12. Weeping Fig / Ficus Tree (Ficus Benjamina)

Known pollutants removed by the weeping fig include trichloroethylene, formaldehyde and benzene. It belongs to the family Moraceae and is native to Australia and Southeast Asia.

Be careful of where you place it indoors as it can grow up to ten feet tall. It requires little maintenance; all you need is an area with bright but indirect light and well-drained soil.


Safety Concerns with Plants

It’s important to consider the safety of your home and family when choosing and obtaining air-purifying plants. Some indoor plants can grow up to ten feet tall, so keep that in mind when shopping around.

Additionally, some plants are toxic when ingested (schefflera, peace lily and golden pothos) making them unsafe to keep in a home with pets and children. Some plants can even trigger allergies in both animals and humans, so do your research before investing in any houseplants.

You can look up the ASPCA’s list of toxic and non-toxic plants, which will be helpful in your research.

Finally, when getting plants for your home, be on the lookout for those that are easy to maintain, especially if you’re a frequent traveler or don’t have a green thumb. As effective as some green indoor plants are at purifying air, they may require a little extra care to thrive so invest in the right plant for your lifestyle.


Other Ways to Purify Air Indoors

There are other effective ways of making the air in your home safe for you and your family. These include:

– Avoiding the use of synthetic home cleaning agents and air fresheners. Instead, opt for natural cleaning agents such as:

  • White vinegar for cleaning mirrors, refrigerators, windows, kitchen and bathroom taps, shower heads, and microwave ovens.
  • Baking soda for eliminating odors from carpets and removing coffee stains.
  • Lemon for cleaning refrigerators, kitchen sinks, toilet bowls and shower doors.
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Borax
  • Natural soaps and shower gels
  • Microfiber cloths

– Replacing synthetic air fresheners with essential oils such as jasmine, rosemary, lavender, cinnamon, geranium, and lemon.

– Candles made from beeswax also make great air purifiers as they release negative ions.

– Increasing ventilation in your home by replacing narrow windows with wider ones, especially in your kitchen. You can also install exhaust fans to help drive the pollutants outside.

– Vacuuming and mopping regularly to keep your floors clean.

Air pollution is a dangerous problem that affects millions of people worldwide. But no matter where you live, following the steps in this article and finding some air purifying plants that suit your home will go a long way to keeping your air fresh and clean.

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