Shopping Is Great … Just Don't Be Bait …

It's dark out. It's late. You've closed down the mall with your bags and packages in hand. You did so good finding the terrific deals and gifts for your family and friends. And with the kids not around, you were able to accomplish so much. As your running the mental gift list in your head, you're not aware that you did park under any lights … Or who parked next to you. Fumbling with the shopping bags, half-way through the lot, you start searching for your keys, you hear your cell phone go off … And then … without warning someone approaches you …

Are you at risk? What makes a woman a perfect target? Here are 7 top tactics and weaknesses criminals who were interviewed say they look for to take advantage of you. They aren't just for the busy holiday season either. It's all year round. Don't fall for them anytime and you can protect yourself from becoming one of the New Year's next statistics.

1. Coming up to my vehicle, did I look around – aware of who is near it? Am I walking my packages in a cart or carrying them in my hand?

Criminals interviewed say they want to attack the woman who is walking alone and not aware of her surroundings. Always put shopping bags in a cart. This allows you ample time to react if someone approaches you. If you're carrying bags, this renders your hands useless to protect yourself and gives a criminal a bonus. Remember … the buddy system. Late night shopping always needs to be a 'girl's night out' affair.

2. Are my keys already in my hand before leaving the store?

Again, awareness plays a huge part. Also, with a key in hand, it can be a terrific weapon if you're suddenly grabbed.

3. Am I talking on the cell phone … fixing my hair … counting my change … writing in the checkbook … and not paying attention?

Paying attention is the key. Take care of all that 'stuff' in the store. NOT in the parking lot, or outside of the vehicle.

4. Is there anyone loitering around my vehicle … if so … are they suspicious enough to making me go back into the store?

Don't think your being silly. NO SUCH THING. Especially when your safety is on the line. If you're not comfortable with walking to your car, ask security to accompany you or if there isn't security available, a store manager will do it – it is their job. That's what they are getting paid to do.

5. Is my vehicle in a well-lit area? Is it easily visible to passer-bys? If I can't see my car really well, who can?

Criminals say they do not want to be noticed, recognized, or slowed down in any way. If you're not easily seen by others at a mall or store, that makes you a perfect target for a criminal.

6. If I have automatic keyless …

Great Gift Ideas for Men

Sometimes the best gifts in life really are free. If you're trying to figure out what to give the man in your life who seems to have everything, or perhaps just want to find the ideal gift that shows you really care without spending an arm and a leg, consider these five ideas that won 't set you back too far financially.


What man does love a good massage, or even just a nice back rub? Give him 30 minutes of your time, and create a special soothing environment with mood music and candles while you massage his sore muscles. If that isn't an option you might consider a gift certificate to a Spa where he can get the ultimate relaxation treatment and a professional massage.

Homemade cookies

There are few men who can resist the lure of good homemade cookies, and if they're fresh out of the oven it's even better. Chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, peanut butter, cookies may be the way to many a man's heart! Tie on a gift tag that reads something like, "You're the cookies to my milk," to add a romantic (and corny) little twist.

Your talents

Whether you're a writer, an artist, a photographer or have any other creative skills or talents, consider putting them to use to make a very personal and thoughtful gift. Consider making a beautiful painting, writing a poem, or if you're into scrapbooking, creating a photo collage makes a wonderful gift.

A day

If the man in your life is busy working during the week and spends a large part of the weekend on household chores, consider gifting him with a day, or weekend, to himself to do anything he wants. That includes lounging around on the couch all day and watching sports or playing video games – let him to whatever it is he loves to his heart's content without being bothered. That's a gift he'll appreciate, and remember for years.

Tickets to the game

If you don't love sports, and he does, consider getting him tickets to the game. If he doesn't have anyone else to go with, use the other ticket and try to join in the fun while rooting his favorite team on. If he has a friend or colleague who would appreciate going more than you might, consider it an extra special gift by letting him spend some time out with the guys.

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8 Great Gift Ideas for Leo Women

If you're one of those people who love to give gifts based on a person's sun sign, you probably will do well with the Leo woman. Leos are usually happy about their sun sign, like to talk about it, and know quite a bit about their astronomical pros and cons. Chances are, they'll already know their stone, color, planet, etc, so buying her something that coordinates that sends the message that you care in a personal way.

1. The Leo represents a lion, so a gift featuring a lion is often well received. Perhaps a beautiful painting, watch with a lion face, or something unique like lion earrings are all great ideas. You don't want to do anything with kitsch, though, as Leo women like class and can see through something cheap and won't thank you for it.

2. The ruling planet of Leo is the sun. This not only tells you a lot about their personality, but gives an idea of ​​good gifts as well. A sun pendant or broach is original and gives credit to their planet at the same time. Gold is a big favorite, of course, but as long as it doesn't look cheap, you can get away with something a little less expensive.

3. In general, you can't go wrong with giving women jewelry, and Leo ladies are no different. Their birthstone is ruby; anything with this stone will go over well-earrings, a broach, necklace with a pendant, ring, or bracelet all can carry a ruby ​​and show class and sophistication.

4. Go for décor items that feature the lion or the sun. A throw rug, sheets, picture frames, and other classy items that feature their sign are often welcome as the Leo does like to flaunt her sign. Again, it needs to be classy, ​​not kitschy, as you will know if you messed up-Leo ladies are not known to be tactful about things they don't like.

5. Get something custom-made. Female Leos revel in the thought that you were thinking of them specifically. Knowing that you planned something just for her will rock her world, especially if it is something she had been hinting at, something that she liked or wanted. Make a bracelet featuring her favorite items, maybe a lion, sun, and sunflower featured as well.

6. Leos like things big and flashy, so how about an over sized purse or a big beaded necklace? You need to know her style, but in general, bigger and classier is better-keep in mind that gaudy is not appreciated.

7. Leos like to show off their sign in other ways as well. You can get Leo cups or glasses, oven mitts with sayings like, "the best!" or tiles extolling the virtues of the Leo woman which are natural winners.

8. Gift vouchers or tickets to concerts, art exhibitions, or a play would go over well as those cater to the artsy side of the Leo woman. She loves beautiful art, so make sure you know which …

Great Gift Ideas For the Fantasy Fan in Your Life

Just about everyone has someone in their life that is a fantasy fan. Whether it's Star Wars, Lord Of The Rings, comic books, anime, vampires, Harry Potter, World Of Warcraft or whatever, these people tend to be difficult to buy for. Here are some tips for buying the perfect gift for the fantasy fan in your life.


are a great gift for the fantasy fan. If they are a fan of anime, get them a limited edition animation cel of their favorite series. If they are a Lord Of The Rings fan, there's a huge amount of limited edition collectibles available for this series, including action figures, toys, weapons, jewelry, games, cards, replicas, art and sculptures. Similar to the Lord Of The Rings series, Harry Potter fans have a massive amount of collectibles to choose from. Whatever series, show, movie or book your recipient is crazy about, rest assured that there are many choices for a collectible gift that will put a smile on their face.

Comic Books

Is your husband a fan of Spiderman, Ironman or some other comic book series? Consider getting them one of the more rare or vintage issues of their favorite series. Not only will this gift make any comic book fan happy, but this is a gift that will hold and increase its value over time.

Video Games

The video game aisles are stacked with fantasy related titles, from the popular Final Fantasy series to the many roleplaying games set in fantasy worlds. For a fan of certain video game series, there are gift options like a gift certificate for 1 year of World Of Warcraft. Or perhaps you have a Zelda fan in your midst? Consider getting them the special Nintendo DS Lite Gold Edition which includes the Zelda Phantom Hourglass game for the DS.


If someone is a Lord Of The Rings, Star Wars, Star Trek or Harry Potter fan, they are more than likely already have the entire set of movies on DVD. However, they may not have the series on Blu-ray or perhaps they don't have the latest and greatest collector's edition of the DVD.


Dressing up as your favorite fantasy character can be fun for parties or Halloween. Few anime fans wouldn't like to dress up as their favorite character. Do they have a thing for Inuyasha? Perhaps Naruto? There are complete costumes available that will make your fantasy fan very happy. eBay is a great place to look for these.

Weapons and Accessories

Sometimes it's just nice to have a cool accessory or weapon to show off your love of fantasy. If your fantasy fan is a lover of samurai movies, Lord Of The Rings, Robin Hood or Halo, then they might be happy to have a real katana, medieval sword or a replica Dragonball Z sword.


From statues to sculptures to artistic renderings to lithographs, there are art pieces available for many TV series, movies, books and games.


Maybe your fantasy fan …