Top Flower Valleys in The World That Will Make You Feel In Heaven
We have always believed that the world we live in is a piece of enchanting scenic beauty, and the beautiful flower valleys around the World will show you how true it is!
Imagine yourself in the middle of a sea of flowers, velvety-green meadows, dense forests, and gorgeous valleys; does it sound like the place you have always wanted to see? If so, then this list of spectacular Flower Valleys in theWorld is sure to sway you away.
Here are TOP recommendations for seeing wildflowers in all their glory, in all their different habitats. Just remember to look and not touch—picking flowers from national parks is illegal, after all.
1. Crested Butte Valley in Colorado
Wildflowers outside Crested Butte, Colorado
The mountains and valleys around Crested Butte, officially honored as the “Wildflower Capital of Colorado,” are a jumble of color in late spring and summer as the blooms progress: blue columbines, red Indian paintbrushes, yellow sunflowers, purple delphiniums, and dark-blue lupines, among many others. Almost any trail in the nearby National Forest land will lead to magnificent wildflower views, including the route leading from Crested Butte to Gothic, eight miles north. And in early July, Crested Butte hosts a weeklong wildflower festival.
Crested Butte Valley in Colorado is covered with a fragrant and spectacular flower carpet during the spring season. The valley is immersed in the sea of flowers, they even grow in the backyards and gardens of the local residents. The natives believe that it’s one of the most beautiful places on earth, there’s no denying that it’s so majestic.
The beautiful Crested Butte Valley is home to 55 species of splendid flowers, including Indian Paintbrush, Sunflowers, Lupine, and Columbine. It also makes an amazing landscape for photo walks and overnight outings in the middle of wildflowers.
Where is Crested Butte Valley: Gunnison County, the United States
The best time to visit Crested Butte Valley: The end of June to July
2. Rose Valley in Bulgaria
A divine fragrance in the air and meadows veiled by pink and red roses—that’s how it feels being in Rose Valley during the summer. Damask roses are cultivated in the region that lies between valleys near the Bulgarian town of Kazanlak since the 18th century.
Tourists who go to visit the valley end up buying damask rose essential oil, which is considered the best in the world. One can attend the rose festival in the valley that begins with the gathering of petals and ends with choosing the new Queens of Roses.
The significance of the rose in Bulgarian culture
For centuries, the Rose Valley has been a rose-growing area of great importance. The rose oil produced from the special variety Rosa Damascena was used for women’s beauty products and perfumes. Today, the rose is one of the symbols of Bulgaria and attracts visitors from all over the world, especially from Japan where the rose is also culturally important.
Where is Rose Valley: Bulgaria
The best time to visit Rose Valley: June to July
3. Tulips in BC’s Fraser Valley
About 100 km east of Vancouver is British Columbia’s Fraser Valley.
Lovers of colourful tulips should head into the Fraser Valley. The Abbotsford Tulip Festival traces its history back to when a Dutch immigrant, 50 years ago, first planted gladiolas, then tulips, daffodils, and peonies. Today, every spring his granddaughter turns a four-hectare (10-acre) farm into colourful fields with more than 2.5 million tulips from 50 different varieties. This third-generation farm is one of two stops along the area’s aptly named Fraser Valley Tulip Trail.
Where is Fraser Valley Tulip Trail: Vancouver, Canada
The best time to visit Rose Valley: April – May
4. Yellowstone National Park in the United States
Yellowstone is seasonal. Plan Your Visit by learning about current conditions, seasons, road conditions, services, activities, and more.
People visit Yellowstone and discover an amazing variety of experiences and destinations. We hope you’ll have fun, make lifelong memories, and enjoy this special place.
Top Things To Know before Travelling to Yellowstone National Park
1. Be Patient and Flexible
Hundreds of thousands of people visit Yellowstone during the months of June, July, and August. It’s also a big place: traffic and road construction often make drive times longer than expected.
2. Cell service and bandwidth are limited.
Don’t be surprised if you can’t receive calls or texts, even in the few areas you have cell reception.
3. Digital guide to enhance your experience
Download the free NPS Yellowstone app (and offline content) before you arrive.
4. Plan ahead
Campgrounds and lodges fill early, so finding a place to sleep at the last minute is unlikely.
5. Drive responsibly
Observe posted speed limits and use pullouts to watch wildlife, take pictures, and let other cars pass.
6. Stay on boardwalks
Hot springs have injured more people than any other natural feature (including animals).
7. Bears inhabit the entire park
Bears are not just the backcountry, so learn how to travel safely in bear country.
8. Practice safe selfies
Never approach animals to take pictures and alway be aware of your surroundings.
9. Early (and late) birds avoid crowds and traffic.
Visit the park during nonpeak hours—before 9 am and after 3 pm. Check out the list of seasonal highlights.
10. Explore beyond our borders
The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem includes much more than the park. Plan your trip to take in the vibrant communities, public lands, and natural wonders throughout this area.
France. Lavender fields
Many fields of Provence in France are covered with a fragrant lavender carpet. The Valensole city is literally immersed in these gentle violet flowers: even the homes of local residents are decorated with lavender. Here you can buy natural cosmetics containing the lavender essential oil, soap, honey, bags of dried flowers.
Lavender blossoms from June to August, but it’s already in July that people start to mow it. Beware of wasps when you visit the lavender fields: they are attracted by the striking fragrance of the flowers. Is best to travel across the Provence region by car to see as many fields as possible, or by bike.
During the collection of lavender harvest there are festivals dedicated to this flower. Such holiday can be attended in Valensole: usually it’s on the third Sunday of July.
What is the difference between 4wd Auto and 4wd Lock?
4WD Auto is like all wheel drive. It has a clutch design in the transfer case that allows slippage so that it won’t bind up on dry pavement. It is for use on mixed terrain such as partially snow covered roads, etc.
4WD Lock is like a standard 4WD for slick surfaces only and has the front and rear locked together. When you engage 4WD LOCK, it engages/loc the front axle to the speed of the rear axle. That is all it is, that you engaged 4wheel drive.
What is the difference between 4wd High and 4wd Low?
Without an Auto setting, 4WD High is what you’d use in any situation that’s low-traction but relatively high-speed—a dirt road or snowy paved road. 4WD Low is strictly for slow off-roading or places where torque multiplication would really help you out (like deep sand).
Is it bad to drive in 4×4 on the highway?
Or is driving in 4WD mode on a highway safe? The short answer is: Yes, it’s perfectly safe to drive in 4WD on the highway. But you still shouldn’t do that – unless you have to.
The 4WD Setup
In a 4-wheel drive, you have an additional rear axle. The power from the engine goes to both sets of wheels – front and rear. It’s as simple as that.
As a result, with a 4WD drivetrain, you have control over the rear wheels, as well as the front. If the front wheels lose their grip on the road for any reason, the vehicle can still accelerate or decelerate by controlling the rear wheels.
Traditionally – i.e. in the previous century – 4WD was a big deal. Few vehicles were 100% 4WD. If you went offroad with 4WD truck, you had to bring it to a full stop, literally get out, grab a lever and connect the rear axle to kick the vehicle into 4WD mode. Then along came SUV’s and off-roading just for fun. People really preferred to stay inside their SUV or truck so new systems were developed with which you could engage your 4WD systems with the push of a button.
This history lesson seves a point: With an older vehicle, you still need to switch between 2WD and 4WD. With many newer trucks, 4WD is a fixed feature. Nothing to think about with those – your truck is 4WD and will be that always. With others, there’s only 2WD drivetrain available, so again, not much in the way of making a conscious choice on the part of the driver.
Aoraki/Mt. Cook is New Zealand’s tallest mountain topping out at at a whopping 3,724 meters (12,218 ft) located in the center of the South Island in Canterbury, one of my favorite regions. And trust me, she’s a beauty. With a bold, super iconic peak, there’s no mistaking Mt. Cook when you are within a hundred miles of it. It stands out above and beyond the surrounding Southern Alps.
Mt. Cook village is a little town 12km from the base of the mountain, and it’s a tiny little town that I love to just hanging out in. Population – 250 on a good day. 2.5 hours from Wanaka, it’s a great weekend getaway or easy day trip
How hard is it to climb Mount Cook
Climbing Mount Cook is a serious undertaking. Do not underestimate the difficulty because of the relatively low summit elevation. There are no walk-up or non technical routes up the mountain. The standard route on the mountain, Linda Glacier, is signifcantly more difficult than Liberty Ridge on Mount Rainier. Do not attempt this climb without very good skills in glacier travel, creavase rescue, protective systems, steep snow climbing, and ice climbing.
Due to often unstable weather, figure on 6-7 days for a summit attempt.
A climb of Aoraki Mount Cook takes at least three climbing days. To book a guide for less than 6 days is unrealistic as it allows no flexibility in case of bad weather, and reduces your chances considerably of a successful climb.
Check out this Amazing Video on YouTube
Accommodation in Mount Cook National Park
Mount Cook village is a tiny place for the amount of visitors it gets each summer. I won’t be surprised if in future they limit access to the road.
If you are camping you can stay at the Whitehorse Hill campground operated by the Department of Conservation. It is few kilometres away from the village and it’s a great starting point for many trails I have mentioned in this post. The campsite operates on a first come first serve basis. There is a self registration station and you will need cash.
Being in a national park certainly has its drawbacks with regards to planning permission but thankfully, it means there aren’t loads of hotels ruining the views. With limited options though booking competition is tough.
If you want to overnight directly in the village and camping isn’t your thing make sure you book your accommodation well in advance. At least few months!
Best activities in Mount Cook
Scenic helicopter flight is a prime choice for those wanting to see the mountains from above. They range in price depending on duration and amount of landings but will give you better views than you can get on any hike. If you were planning on taking a heliflight in New Zealand, Mount Cook is one of the best places for it!
Our top pick is The Glaciers Helicopter Flight.
SKI PLANE TOUR
Ski Plane Tours are arguably even better than helicopter tours, as the ride tends to last longer. The downside is that planes are much less manoeuvrable and exciting. Saying that, there is a great combo deal allowing you to experience both!
MOUNT COOK MAP
When is the best time to visit Mount Cook and Lake Pukaki
Because Mount Cook is so high, it often tends to “hide” in the clouds. So any day with little to no clouds or with high clouds (cirrus or altocumulus) would be perfect to visit Mount Cook and Lake Pukaki.
You can visit Mount Cook and Lake Pukaki in any season and see snow on the mountain.
However, in early spring, late autumn, and winter, the snow on Mount Cook tends to be lower down the mountain than at any other time of the year.
In winter however, you can get bonus views of a snow-covered Ben Ohau Range with Lake Pukaki in the foreground from Hayman Road, which lies west of Lake Pukaki.
Keep in mind, though, that because Mount Cook and Lake Pukaki are located at a higher elevation than, for example, Christchurch, the region can occasionally get snowed-in in winter.
Aoraki/Mt Cook, New Zealand, viewed from the shores of Lake Pukaki
It’s stunning, it takes about three hours, and it’s free. That’s why the Hooker Valley Track tops our list of Aoraki Mt Cook must-dos! No matter what your budget is, you can enjoy this easy-going 3-hour return walk through the Hooker Valley toward the vibrant and glacial Hooker Lake. Soak up the views of several impressive glaciers and New Zealand’s highest mountain, Aoraki Mt Cook.
Location: Start the Hooker Valley Track from the White Horse Hill Campground car park at the end of the Hooker Valley Road, 2km from Mt Cook Village.
2. Heli-Hike On The Tasman Glacier
Explore the ice caves and walk on top of New Zealand’s longest glacier, the Tasman Glacier! Take a scenic helicopter flight with captivating glacier valley views and land straight onto the ice. Your guide will show you the unusual features of this ever-changing alpine environment, often including ice caves, stepping over deep crevasses and more.
3. Go Boating On The Tasman Lake
The Tasman Lake is where the Tasman Glacier terminates, releasing huge ice burgs into the lake. Get up-close to these ice giants on a boating tour of the Tasman Lake! Tours involve a drive and short walk to the lake where you’ll then board a small boat for a trip on the vibrant turquoise glacial lake which is ever-changing! In fact, the lake only formed in 1989 and has been expanding ever since. Kayak tours on the lake are also available on the lake. Be aware that lake activities are seasonal and are only available between early September and late May.
Location: Trips depart from Mt Cook Village in various pick-up locations.
The banking sector will face a big ATM migration challenge in 2020. Microsoft made the official announcement: Windows 7 (operating system for many ATMs) extended support will end on January 14, 2020. Consequently, all banks have to update their entire ATM network by installing a new operating system caring about data security.
The wave of sticker shock and nausea is growing as financial institutions are now receiving their Windows 10 pricing from ATM vendors.
Core upgrades, ATM rip-and-replace, service calls, OEM maintenance licenses and organizational disruption — big expense without a single dollar in additional revenue. Oh, and you’d better hurry up and commit to a Win10 upgrade now because lead times on those new Win10 ATMs is six months and growing.
With less than a month left before Windows 7 goes end-of-life, who can blame financial institutions for feeling like they are over the proverbial barrel — again.
There are about3.2 million ATMs in the world. They are used daily by billions of people, but only a few know that most ATMs work on the Windows operating system.
A lot of ATMs around the globe are still running Windows XP embedded, long after Microsoft ceased support with security and stability patches. Support for Windows XP was discontinued in 2014, which means that since then the Microsoft Company has not rolled out any security updates for this Windows version.
BANK Expenditure or Investment?
It‘s time to get prepared for ATM migration to Windows 10. It is not a secret that many banks have delayed the decison. What is the reason? It seems to be due to extra costs for the bank, but does this need to be consider as expenditure or investment?
Undoubtedly, it must be seen as an investment. Not just an investment into new software, but into ATM network safety. That means investing into the bank’s reputation given what we know about criminal activity surrounding ATMS.
So, why is it beneficial to migrate to Windows 10?
Greater security is ensured. This operating system is compatible with the latest PCI and VISA safety standards. The Secure Boot requires that any program that begins as the operating system startup needs to be signed off by both Microsoft and the hardware manufacturer. Security additions with Windows 10 make the Secure Boot feature tamper-proof.
It is the most suitable platform for making ATMs work as an extra distribution or sales channel.
Windows 10 reduces maintenance costs by getting the latest software and security updates. ATMs with outdated software support can be risky and expensive.
Long-term investment. Microsoft is about to support Windows 10 operating system to 2026. This will allow financial organisations to plan their expenses for ATM software.
ATMs migration to Windows 10 is a long and complicated process. Financial experts advise not to postpone it to the last minute and not to risk safety and reputation, which can be compromised by using an obsolete unsafe operating system.
How To Pass US CPA Exam In The First Attempt – 2020
Everyone prefers to get difficult things accomplished on the first try, and the same attitude applies to the CPA exam. Studying for the exam is a huge commitment of time, and we’d all prefer to pass all four tests on the first attempt. It’s tough, but with proper planning and enough effort, you can do it. Use these tips to pass the CPA exam on your first try.
Create a plan and stick to the weekly time requirement
Now, it’s easy to say “make a plan to study for the CPA exam and stick to it”, which is a lot like saying: “train for six months and run a marathon.” Both goals involve hundreds of hours of time, and studying for the CPA exam will require over 400 hours of preparation. But if you’re going to study 20 hours a week for 20 weeks, make sure that you can reasonably fit that into your schedule. Also, I recommend that you spend a few more hours each week early in the process, which means that you won’t have to rush to catch up at the end. Avoid cramming at the end, because most people can’t retain information well if they’re rushing.
Take a CPA review course
I worked as an online tutor for CPA candidates, and nearly everyone needed a review course to get through the exam. Review courses, like the Becker CPA review, are constantly updated for changes in the exam’s content. I tried studying using only review books, and it just wasn’t effective for me. The review course also provides structure, so you’re more likely to keep your studying on track each week. A review course allows you to study using audio, videos, online live instruction, flashcards — whatever works for you.
Consider hiring a tutor — one hour at a time
If you’ve been using your review course and there are concepts you simply cannot figure out, find an online tutor. I would recommend asking friends who have taken the exam recently if they used a tutor, and I would check online reviews. A good tutor should be willing to meet with you for an hour at a time, so that you can go over the most challenging concepts. If a tutor asks you to commit to more than an hour, find someone else. A good tutor is able to generate repeat business.
Practice test scores
Before you take a certain test, make sure that your practice test scores are 5% higher than the percentage you need to pass. So, if passing the auditing and attestation (AUD) test requires a 75%, you should be getting an average of 80% on your practice test. My experience has been that CPA candidates with those levels of practice scores pass the tests they take.
Passing the CPA exam on your first try is an accomplishment that you can sell to a potential employer. It shows that you take your career seriously, and that you can commit to a difficult task. Use these tips to pass the CPA exam on your first try.
Find people in the accounting industry
Nothing is better than learning by using real world examples, and people who work in the accounting industry can provide lots of examples for you. As you study, keep notes on difficult subjects and run those concepts by someone you know. Say, for example, that you’re having trouble understanding inventory turnover ratios. A manager who works with inventory can give you some great examples that explain why inventory turnover is critical for managing cash needs.
How to Become CPA in Canada: The Beginner’s Guide
Is Canada CPA Similar to that in the US?
Similar to the states in the US, Canada has provinces, and each province has its own regional accounting body. Canada has taken a bold move by merging its accounting qualifications (CA, CMA and CGA) into one big “CPA “designation. The process has been completed with much success.
In order to get started, candidates should follow the rules applicable to their status.
1. New Candidates
Accounting Majors in Canada
This is the default route to become CPA in Canada. If qualified, you will be admitted to the CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP).
Here is the prerequisite for CPA PEP:
Complete a bachelor degree in relevant concentration, e.g. B.Comm with an accounting major
Complete the prerequisite learning defined in The CPA Competency Map
Complete at least 120 credit hours or equivalent of education
Those who are not qualified for CPA PEP will get into the CPA Prerequisite Education Program (CPA PREP). This may include non-accounting majors and international candidates.
This is a bridging program developed on a nationally basis to help students make up for the missing accounting courses. The courses are offered part-time, through distance learning or in classroom setting.
2. Legacy and Transitioning Students / Candidates from CA, CGA and CMA
If you have completed the respected course of your CA, CGA or CMA designation on or before September 2015, then you don’t need to do anything but to wait for the legislation to pass in your jurisdiction (Update: this should have been completed in all provinces).
If you are half way in the course, you will enter the appropriate point in either the CPA PEP or CPA PREP to complete the program.
You will also need to complete the experience requirements in your original designation in order to become a CPA in Canada. You can get more information from the links at the bottom of this page.
How to Register for CPA PEP
CPA PEP is a 2-year part-time program designed for accounting professionals who work full time. It consists of six modules:
2 core modules
6 core technical competencies including financial reporting, strategy and governance, management accounting, audit and assurance, finance and taxation.
Students can choose from assurance, performance management, tax and finance.
Those who pursue public accounting or tax must take assurance or tax respectively.
1 capstone integrative module
Focus on leadership and professional skills, integrating core competencies
1 capstone exam prep mode
Focus on the Common Final Examination
Each module ends in an examination. CPA candidates must pass each module examination to proceed to the next module. The Common Final Examination is a 3-day test to complete the whole process.
CPA PEP is developed on a national basis but the program is delivered on a provincial basis. You can register for the CPA PEP through your provincial or regional CPA body. There are also schools that run across the provinces.
You will have to sit for 6 exams (Core 1 and 2), 2 exams (Elective1 and 2) plus 2 learning modules (Capstone 1 and 2) and a final three days exams to complete the exam part of the program.
How to Register for CPA PREP
The CPA PREP consists of 14 modules. The sequence in which you take modules 1-10 is important as some modules are prerequisites for others. Modules 11 and 12 are self-study an can be taken at any time, subject to availability. You only have to complete the ones you require. Each module ends with an examination.
For information about the module fees and scheduling, please contact your provincial body.
Once you complete CPA PREP, you are qualified for CPA PEP.
Since September 2015, the provinces have standardized the requirements. There are two routes:
Take pre-approved programs in training positions that are offered by your employers and have been pre-approved by the profession. These programs are designed for you to meet the practical experience requirements within 30 months.
Complete experience verification. This flexible route allows you to demonstrate competence and have relevant experience recognized as it is gained at an employer of choice.
Students can choose one route or take a combination of the two.
Is the Reciprocal Agreement with CA, CMA and CGA Still Valid?
There isn’t a simple answer to that. I understand that the US state boards still allow legacy CA members to take IQEX and get a faster route to become a CPA in the US.
CMA Canada used to have numerous agreements with other management accounting bodies, and I am not sure how that turns out. You may want to check with your current provincial accounting body for details.
As the unification is completed, there may be a new round of negotiation with other accounting bodies around the world and new reciprocal agreements will be made then.
How about Review Courses?
I don’t cover them for now, but heard from friends that Prepformula, Densmore and Pass are the bigger providers.
The average Cpa salary in Canada is $87,500 per year or $44.87 per hour. Entry level positions start at $41,538 per year while most experienced workers make up to $97,500 per year.
What is the difference between becoming a CPA in US versus CPA in Canada
In Canada, historically, the qualification process for legacy-CAs was fragmented – Ontario only required 1 year of work experience whereas Western Canada required 2 and generally performed stronger on the exam (hence why they stopped publishing pass rates in about 2008). CMAs had a big board presentation and written report and CGAs had a final exam.
Now all Canadian CPA students go through 4 modules – 2 core and 2 electives. Then you go through the 2 Capstone courses. Capstone 1 mirrors the old CMA process and Capstone 2 mirrors the old CA process. Capstone 2 ends with a 3 day 13 hour exam, the Common Final Exam (replaces the Uniform Evaluation or the UFE. No percentages to pass. Either you’re competent or you’re not.
Is US CPA recognized in Canada?
US CPA license is not popular in the Canadian job market since the CPA license is locally regulated. And US and Canada follow different accounting principles. … The good news is you can apply for a reciprocal exam to become a Canadian CPA provided you have a valid CPA license from most of the states, not all though.
Insights shared by a Candidate who passed 4/4 on First Attempt
After passing all four exams on first try, I’d like to share some insights that might be helpful to some of you. I worked full-time at Big 4 while studying (plus some studying before starting work) and used Becker.
Many of you in school will try to take the exam before starting your full-time jobs. While studying and working can be challenging at times, it is not necessarily as brutal as some make it out to be, especially if you’re single/no kids. I am not a fan of study marathons. I’d rather work and then study in the evenings and on weekends, than study full-time. Don’t feel bad if you start work and haven’t taken/passed any exam. I was nervous hearing all CPA stories from my coworkers and having no experience myself, but hey, now I’ve passed all four sections in six months while working at Big 4. It has boosted my confidence and made a very good impression on the people I work with.
You have 18 months to pass all four sections. That is, the 18-month window does not open until you receive credit (ie pass) for a section. If you’re wondering which section to take first, take REG or FAR. These are the most difficult and time-consuming sections. If you fail your first attempt, at least you won’t be opening the 18-month window. Getting REG or FAR out of the way will also be good for your confidence.
If you’re wondering in what order to take the exams, do either FAR-AUD-BEC-REG or REG-FAR-AUD-BEC. AUD and BEC will both be easier once you’ve passed FAR.
Keep in mind that when you apply for your initial NTS, it will take around 3-5 weeks to receive it. Don’t count on NASBA being quick but don’t wait to get the NTS to start studying either. My NTS took 6 weeks because of an issue with my name. You second/third NTS will take a day or two.
Weekend spots at Prometric test centers fill quickly. Start checking for dates/spots about a month and half prior to your desired exam date. If nothing is available, check again. Some people cancel their appointments, so you may want to check a couple of times before scheduling to make sure you get the appointment that works best for you.
If you can, schedule the exam on a Monday or Tuesday. That gives you an entire weekend to study plus a good excuse to have a day off work! If possible, don’t waste your weekends at Prometric test centers. 🙂
I am not a fan of study marathons. Things may happen that might disrupt your ultimate study plans. If you think you can take AUD in 4 weeks, give yourself 5.
The most important point I want to make here is: don’t take mock exams.
Mock exams are a good idea before your first exam, whichever section it is. It is helpful to a. see what the software looks like (Becker’s is pretty close to the real one) , b. block off 4 hours without distractions, and c. see how you do with the time.
Taking more than one or two mock exams is a waste of time, though. First, a mock exam takes four hours. Yes, you might argue it’s a good practice, but those are four hours you’re spending on getting tired and not studying. If you start your mock exam at 9am on Saturday, you will complete it at 1pm. Then you’ll take a break and then come back to review what you did wrong. So you’ll start fixing the error you made at 9:15am five hours later, at 2:15pm. Five hours later, you’re probably tired. And five hours later, you’re probably discouraged because you got 60 on your mock exam and need 75 to pass. Mock exams aren’t reflective of actual exam performance. The CPA exam is not graded the way these mock exams are graded. A score of 75 on the exam is not 75% correct answers. Don’t spend four hours on killing your confidence. Instead of mock exams, I focused on progress tests (see below) that gave me feedback sooner and I divided by section. A lot of people disagree with my criticism of mock exams, and yes, we do things differently. Now that I’m done, I’m confident mock exams are overrated but I am also saying that you shouldn’t let others guilt you about your approach, should you decide (not) to do something. (I took two mock exams total, only for my first test, FAR.)
2) So how did I study? It’s a little different for each section, but what’s common in my approach for all four sections is that I studied and reviewed, and 70% of my actual learning and understanding happened in the review phase. That’s when I connected the dots, after reading all (or almost all) chapters and going through the MCQs.
I watched the lecture and took notes in the textbook. Many would say the lectures are a waste of time, but the lecturers oftentimes add context that makes it easier to understand the topic. Also, the instructors point out the most heavily tested areas or those not tested much (for instance, if you’re reading the REG text about depreciation, you’ll probably read the entire table; if you listen to the lecture, Tim Gearty would tell you there are only two asset classes you need to know for the exam). After the lecture, I read the chapter. I don’t like going into MCQs without reading the text; it just feels more like guessing as opposed to, well, educated guessing. 🙂 It’s cool to be efficient, but you’re trying to pass an exam, so if it takes you 20-30 more hours than somebody else, that’s fine, it’s not a marathon.
On the MCQs, I marked the questions I did wrong and some questions I did right but thought were important for me to see again during my review. During my review, I did MCQs on those marked questions only.
I generally didn’t do SIMS until I got to review. However, for REG, which I found quite difficult, I needed more practice in the tax chapters, so I did the SIMS together with the MCQs, sometimes before the MCQs. The SIMS are more comprehensive, so sometimes they give you a bigger picture of the topic than the MCQs. It’s like the MCQs give you the dots, but the SIMS help you connect the dots. That’s mostly REG, in my experience.
After covering all chapters, or several chapters, I started reviewing. For AUD, I made a spreadsheet where I listed each lesson and the percentage of correct MCQs. I redid only the MCQs I had marked in my study phase, then in a separate column on the spreadsheet I put in the new, higher percentage of correct MCQs on second try. This gave me a visual of my weakest chapters. I tried to get to at least 80% on each, ideally 85% correct MCQs. Besides the visual, the spreadsheet gave me confidence that things were going in the right direction.
Simply doing MCQs and/or SIMS didn’t give me confidence that I knew what was going on. So I also read some chapters again (kinda for the third time) before going into the marked MCQs. That’s when those chapters started to make sense, and I started to see things I hadn’t noticed in my study phase.
Then I took progress tests by section/lesson. So for REG, that would be R1, R2 – I don’t remember how Becker calls those exactly. I took progress tests with 10 MCQs only, 15 at most but rarely. Why 10 MCQs? 10 MCQs take, say, 20 minutes. So in twenty minutes, I know what I’ve done wrong and I can start working on it. That, to me, is the key: don’t take too long to identify your errors. Then, I would write down my score on the first set of 10 MCQs. Then take a second and third set, writing down my score to track my progress while fixing mistakes and weak areas quickly. If I got over 80% on those 3 progress tests and/or was getting tired of R1, I started reviewing R2 using the same approach. Then, I would review R1 and R2 etc, again with only 10 MCQs.
I took notes while studying, but I take notes mostly to concentrate and not to go back to.
I usually listened to music while studying, so I got distracted a lot, but someone who gets distracted while studying learns more than someone who doesn’t study at all.
Some weeks, I had a long commute to the client, so I listened to lectures in the car. Because I couldn’t also take notes and am not as good at learning from listening, I would replay the lecture a couple of times. I can tell you that I studied the economics section of BEC (B5) only by listening to lectures on my commute. This only works for topics that are more theoretical, like business law, economics, IT, audit.
I get tired of sitting at a desk, especially after coming home from sitting at a desk for 10 hours. So in the evenings, I usually studied in bed – lectures, notes, and sometimes MCQs. That doesn’t quite work for FAR because I can’t do FAR problems in bed, but you get the point – find an alternative so that you keep studying.
Going to the gym is important. I should have done that more while studying. You can just listen to a lecture while on the treadmill – say 40 minutes, your body relaxes and you’re still studying, then go home, read the chapter and/or put the instructor’s notes in your textbook, do the MCQs.
Another thing I should have learned sooner is to admit to being tired and not torture myself. Say one Saturday, I wake up and start studying, then by 11am, I want to go out but I keep studying because I have to… I stop paying attention, take longer to do the MCQs, and learn less – only for the sake of having a clear conscience that I am studying. No, just go out, take a break, come back in an hour or two, and you would do better. No need to just sit at a desk to feel good about yourself.
I sacrificed some social life, but I also got to do some cool things like catching up with my closest friends, trips, and concerts while also studying. Such things are important for my well-being, and miserable people do worse at whatever they have to do. I had a fair share of tough moments while studying for the CPA exam, but looking back, I didn’t really sacrifice too much, and I managed to enjoy life while working and studying. I had to be disciplined, otherwise I risked becoming a miserable, stressed out, and rude person.
I prioritized the exam. Don’t be the guy whose first section expired because he made senior and couldn’t handle being a senior and studying. Do it sooner rather than later, and don’t say yes to everything at work at the expense of your exam. Your CPA is going to be with you all your career, granted you maintain the license.
Many say you stop learning new things the last days before the test, but trust me, I passed 2 of my exams with knowledge acquired the last few days before exam day.
Dress in layers. On exam day, they’ll give you two laminated sheets to jot down notes. It’s easier to erase your notes with your shirt than with your fingers, so don’t wear a white shirt or something very nice. However, dress for success 🙂 I kinda liked to dress up for my exams so that I go in there with more confidence. Again, confidence is key. Go in there like you’ve made partner already. I bet you some of the partners out there barely passed their exams.
You cannot drink water during the exam except for the break. I am used to drinking water all the time, so it took some mental preparation for that part.
Eat a couple of hours before the test. I didn’t eat before my first test and two hours in, I was starving. Simple…
DO NOT LEAVE THE TEST ROOM even if you are absolutely sure you’re failing the test and all hope is lost. I spent most of my time taking REG wondering if I should just go home and not take entire four hours to fail the exam. I passed – barely, but I passed. Now I’m done with the exam writing this looong piece of advice and I cannot believe that a week and a half ago, I almost failed MY SELF by considering giving up.
SCORE RELEASE DAY:
If you’ve taken a section before and the score is still available on the NASBA website, go there to the eye button for that last section you have a score for, open the score report, and it should show you all sections you have records for: Credit for Passed, Attendance for No score available to NASBA yet, and No Credit for Failed.
Finally, I want to say that I am fortunate to have passed all four sections on first try. I did not have to deal with the frustration and disappointment of failing a section. To all of you who have failed and keep trying: I admire you for remaining optimistic and working hard towards passing the exam. There’s as much to learn from your experience, if not more!
Instagram quickly outgrew its first impression as a fun app for kids and has become a serious content marketing, selling, networking and audience building tool for individuals and brands. It’s one of the most popular social networking sites on the planet, with over 200 million active monthly members sharing 60 million images and 1.6 billion likes per day.
My journey is a lot different than most and I have been working on this project since 2012. While you can totally make a lot of money and make it pretty fast using the power social of media that IS NOT my goal. I am wanting to make this Long-Term if not my entire life’s mission. This page is about something I truly believe in and support. If you are looking to find a product or business to start simply because you want to make money then you are in for a real struggle. (Not to say you shouldn’t follow the money… This is just from my life experience and what I want, everyone’s on a different path)
So let’s jump straight into what helps me grow a Social Media Page. I want to focus on 3 topics that I believe are very important. There is no ultimate truth to growing your page or secret tricks. It will take lot’s of hard work, smart thinking and timing, A LOT of money in some cases (Not mine and I will explain), and sometimes pure luck. In fact I will go ahead and save you all some money and tell you to never buy a course that claims to get you X amount of followers per day. I will explain better ways to spend your money below (And it’s not on a course, I have nothing to sell)
Creating unique engaging content
Fighting the algorithms
This is by far the most important factor not only on Social Media but Business and Life in my opinion. There seems to be too much of this Dog eat Dog mentality when there more than enough wealth to go around and no reason to fight. Instead of learning how I can stay one step ahead of all my competition I reached out and became friends with them. They already had hundreds of thousands of followers and money flowing so why would I want them against me? I was completely honest with everyone I reached out to. I sometimes even explained hey I am thinking about doing the exact same thing you are doing… How did you find success? You can’t be fake about your relationships and be reaching out with your self gain as the only goal. I would support these influencers when they post.. Get involved in the comments… Buy their product (If I actually support it). Some people it took years of messaging to finally get noticed. But 8 years later I now have a network throughout my entire niche of people showing nothing but love. Influencers charging $100+ for people to make a post will constantly be giving me free shoutouts because of all the support I showed.
Of course not everyone has time to spend doing all of this. So how do you speed up the process? You have to provide value in order to get something of value back. And you should never be providing value expecting to receive something in return. So the simple solution is to pay influencers to work with you. Building relationships still applies and will be just as important. Even if you are paying someone to share your work you are still creating a relationship between Business and Influencer. And to add to that these people get hundreds of offer so even if you have the $$$ they still may have no interest in working you or your product due to the lack of a relationship. For the pages I do pay to post we still share a happy relationship and overtime I am ready for a paid post I have a huge list of people I have worked with and how to contact them directly. They already know me and what I am about so their is no hesitation or delay in getting a paid post.
I could write an entire book on examples of relationships I have built to further the growth of my page but to avoid rambling I will end it on this.. Be more conscious of every interaction you are having and understand each person you talk to knows something that we don’t. Approach new people as a way to learn new things and understand they can become a crucial role in your business later down the road. You never know… That person you were talking crap to could be Elon Musk lurking through reddit about to invest in your idea.. But you didn’t give him the time of day because you only see a person with no use to you.
Creating unique and engaging content
This should be obvious but people seem to drop the ball on this one often… Including myself. Every time someone comes to your social media they are essential walking into your physical store, just the digital version. They will be making a decision based on what is surrounding them inside this virtual shop. Are you providing anything of value? If you are providing value why should they come to you and not the guy across the street? Maybe you are selling the exact product they need but your store is completely empty except for the item sitting on the shelf. But the guy across the street selling the exact same thing has a store filled with information about his product, complimentary drinks, he greets everyone with a smile that walks in and gets to know them. Both places might have a great product and the customer left feeling happy. But who is more likely to get the business next time? Or maybe there was never a reason to do business again, you needed the product this one time and you’re out. But you had such a great experience you now are shopping for other items. Or you love it so much you just wanted to stop by and say hi or bring a friend in looking for the thing.
Whenever you create something to post really think about what experience you are creating. Every restaurant is posting pictures of all their dishes and while they may be unique and amazing tasting, having a page filled with food pictures is not unique. Think outside the box no matter how crazy. This might not be a practical solution but imagine a page that held a monthly food fight and recorded the whole thing to post on social media.. I’d be way more inclined to check out their page to see what all that was about and probably stick around to see the next one.
Fighting the algorithm
Everyone probably already knows this but on Instagram at least, your post is going to only be shown to a portion of your followers and is determined within the first hour how well it will do most of the time. I find that my post get the most engagement when I limit it to 1 post per day. It doesn’t mean I get the most growth and sometimes 1-3 post with less engagement per post equals a higher total following. I honestly have no real secret to beating this algorithm other than you need to know and study your audience. By following the first step and building relationships you will learn what does and doesn’t work and learn what people really like and using step 2 you will have the correct content to gain their attention.
The algorithm likes to pay tricks on you by making a funny cat meme the most liked picture yet it provide no value to my following. So I would say the real solution is DON’T fight the algorithm. Many times I get caught chasing the most likes and follows while missing out on the entire purpose of the page and the reasons I got so many followers in the first place. You obviously want to use the right hashtags and get your page on the explore page so you can be discovered. But really be mindful of what you are posting and make sure it’s to serve your audience and not to combat the algorithms. This will naturally lead to you winning against it.
Something to also think about. If you are having a hard time getting ranked higher look into the influencers that are doing well and study their post.. Or just reach out to them and have them post your content for $$$ or something of value you can offer…
I am not an expert on typing up case studies like this so I do apologize if I was rambling and didn’t dig deep enough as to how I grow my page. I am still learning myself and have a long way to go. The main takeaway of this post is that my page did not grow magically and I have put years of dedication into this and I also truly believe in myself and the value I am providing to others. I do not make 6 figures from social media at all but getting messages from people saying how much they appreciate what I am doing and how their lives are impacted is much more rewarding. And I suspect that as long as I stay on this path I will continue to grow and build my foundation stronger everyday. Remember even Rome fell.. You social media page can be taken away from you in a night but the relationships you built will be inside of everyones mind and follow them through their entire life.
Like I said at the top I don’t have course to sell or offer. I used to make at least 5k+ a month from social media but currently am not monetizing my instagram page just because I am not really for the drop shipping business model and want to invest into providing a quality product that isn’t just merch from china (Shopify stores make tons of money and still work so I do recommend it if you are trying to monetize.. I used to do this but I stopped..I am after something else).
I do Social Media Marketing to pay the bills but have a hard time finding clients who really understand how social media works and the power it has, so I tend to focus on my pages instead. As much as I need the money I don’t want to sell out on my page and keep it true to why I started it. I went to huge debt starting my first business that worked really well at first but I learned the hard way you need to keep reinvesting your money back into the business. I wouldn’t want to be in any other position and I am only more confident that the experiences I learned were necessary in order to achieve true success.
When the recoil starter on my old walk-behind gas lawn mower broke again this spring, I decided not to spend time and money repairing it, even though I had just changed the oil and replaced the spark plug and air filter. In fact, I decided the best way to avoid problems with the recoil starter in the future was to replace it with a mower that does not have a spark plug, motor oil, air filter, gas tank, or starter!
My new lawn mower is powered by a rechargeable lithium battery instead of gasoline. Running my lawn mower on electricity means I can avoid some of the hassles of maintaining a gas engine, such as:
Trips to the gas station to fill the gas can
Oil, air filter, and spark plug changes
Pulling the cord and adjusting the choke to get it to start
While there are clear potential benefits of switching to an electric lawn mower, can you also save money? Let’s look at the total cost of ownership for gas versus electric walk-behind mowers to see if switching to electric could save you money.
Gasoline vs. electric push mower
If you want to replace your gas push mower with an electric push mower, you have two options: a corded electric mower or a cordless electric mower.
Corded electric mowers
You can get a corded electric mower that plugs into an extension cord. Using this can be feasible if you have a small yard that is within reach of an extension cord. Corded electric mowers are the cheapest option for electric mowers in terms of initial cost, and you never need to worry about replacing batteries.
Cordless electric mowers
If you have a larger yard, or if you don’t want to mess around with an extension cord, you can get a cordless electric mower. These use rechargeable electric batteries — typically lithium batteries. If you have a larger yard, you may need more than one battery to mow the whole yard in one go. Rechargeable batteries typically have a life expectancy of around five years.
There’s a wide variety of push mowers available with different features and levels of capability. Depending on the model you choose, you can find a corded electric mower for about the same price or even less than some gas push mowers. By contrast, a cordless electric model can run $100 or more over the price of a similar gas model. For the purposes of comparison, I’ve chosen examples of machines with similar capability that could mow a typical medium-sized yard.
Poulan Pro 21-Inch Hi-Wheel Gas Push Mower: $235
Greenworks 12 Amp 20-Inch Corded Electric Push Mower: $179
Black & Decker 60V Max 20‑Inch Cordless Electric Push Mower: $315
The main cost to operate a push mower is fuel — either an average $2.30 per gallon for gas or around 11 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity to run a corded electric mower or to charge the battery. This works out to a fuel cost of about:
Gas push mower: $1.50 per half-acre
Corded electric push mower: $0.50 per half-acre
Cordless electric push mower: $0.10 per half-acre
Let’s say you mow your half-acre yard once per week for four months, or 16 times per year. The annual cost works out to:
Gas push mower: $24.00
Corded electric push mower: $8.00
Cordless electric push mower: $1.60
Now, let’s say you own your mower for 10 years. The total fuel cost over 10 years works out to be:
Gas push mower: $240.00
Corded electric push mower: $80.00
Cordless electric push mower: $16.00
Of course, batteries don’t last forever. Let’s assume you’ll need to replace your rechargeable battery after the first five years, once during the 10-year life of the mower, at a cost of $75.
A gas mower will need regular maintenance that electric mowers do not require. Let’s assume you change the oil once per year, and change the spark plug and air filter every other year for an average maintenance cost of $15 per year.
All of the lawn mowers will need to have the blade sharpened or replaced periodically, and let’s assume that costs $20 every other year, or $10 per year on average.
10-year total cost of ownership
Here is an estimate of the total cost of ownership of a push mower for 10 years.
With either a corded electric push mower or a cordless electric push mower, you will save a significant amount on gasoline and routine maintenance each year. There is a periodic cost to replace batteries as they wear out for cordless models, but the savings on gasoline and engine maintenance outweighs this expense over the life of the mower.
Depending on the model you choose and the size of your yard, a cordless electric push mower can save you money compared with a gas powered push mower. And a corded electric push mower will save you money over both of the other types of mowers.
The key to a long and healthy plant life is water management. Indoor plant care is very manageable with the most basic of information.
The Intelligent Ice-cream STICK method is brilliant yet very simple and applies to all plants in all types of containers:
If in doubt as to whether your plant requires a watering, use an Ice-cream stick to test for moisture. Just as you would use a toothpick to check to see if your muffins are done; insert an Ice-cream stick into the base of the plant stems. Pull the stick out and either notice if any soil is clinging to the stick. If soil clings to the stake, this is an indication there is moisture in the root zone. Alternatively, feel the stick for moisture levels (dry, moist or wet). Depending on the care for your particular plant, you can make a watering decision from there. To extend the life of your Ice-cream Stick, remove it from the plant and “keep it in a dry place between uses.
Light levels are the most relative factor associated with watering routines. Plants do require varying water management in association with their unique characteristics but light levels are the most important factor.
As light levels increase and decrease; so should our watering routines. The changing seasons require a little extra attention as this is when we need to retrain ourselves with our watering routines. In general; plan to increase your watering in Spring then maintain this more frequent ‘summer routine’ until Fall when watering should be tapered off to a less frequent ‘winter routine’.
As a simple example for an average indoor plant; if you are watering once per week in Summer, your Winter watering will be reduced to once every 2 weeks.
General Plant Care guidelines for glass vases with pebbles, sand, bark or decorative granules:
Resist any temptation to fill the vase with water
Water sparingly according to the label directions
Little to no water should remain in the bottom of the vase following watering.
A few years back I was having a conversation with some people on how whenever you decide to invest in something for the long term you should always think ahead on what would be the best choice in the long run while having persistence to follow through with it. The scenario was if you were given a choice to receive one million dollars in one month or a penny doubled every day for 30 days which one would you choose? When I first heard this, I knew that the penny doubled everyday must have been the better choice to go with as it was a little obvious to me that it had to be a trick question of some sort. But how much better would it be was not something that I knew immediately. So to demonstrate this, it was actually written out with all the calculations and it turned out to something like this:
Day 1: $.01 Day 2: $.02 Day 3: $.04 Day 4: $.08 Day 5: $.16 Day 6: $.32 Day 7: $.64 Day 8: $1.28 Day 9: $2.56 Day 10: $5.12 Day 11: $10.24 Day 12: $20.48 Day 13: $40.96 Day 14: $81.92 Day 15: $163.84 Day 16: $327.68 Day 17: $655.36 Day 18: $1,310.72 Day 19: $2,621.44 Day 20: $5,242.88 Day 21: $10,485.76 Day 22: $20,971.52 Day 23: $41,943.04 Day 24: $83,886.08 Day 25: $167,772.16 Day 26: $335,544.32 Day 27: $671,088.64 Day 28: $1,342,177.28 Day 29: $2,684,354.56 Day 30: $5,368,709.12
Quite a big difference once you look at it as you would be getting over 5 million dollars with the penny doubled everyday for 30 days route. The funny thing when I look at this is how it is almost like starting a business and trying to make a profit. In the beginning you struggle a lot to get things going and afterwards once it reaches to a point it just takes off smoothly. How does that analogy go again?
It is something like starting a business is like a rocket ship taking off into space. You spend 80% of your fuel during take off and once it reaches a certain point it flies smoothly with minimal consumption.
Coffee or “coffea arabica” plants are a perfect addition to any home, adding to the elegance of your home. They are generous growers that can continue to grow for many years, reaching up to 15 feet or more. This plant has glossy dark green leaves that have ruffled edge. The coffee tree is actually a variety of a tropical evergreen shrub.
Caring for your coffea houseplant
Coffea plants like filtered indirect bright sunlight, but they can also grow in less light as well. Coffee plants are prone to whitefly, scale and mealy bugs. If you find these pests on your plants, spray a soapy mixture for 2 weeks.
After 3 or 4 years, this plant will begin to produce star-shaped white flowers that smell like jasmine. These flowers are followed by green fruits that change to red then dark brown/black as they continue to ripen. Inside the fruit, are two beans (or seeds) that can be roasted and ground up to make your morning cup of joe.
Watering your Coffee tree plant
When watering the coffea arabica plant, it is best to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Use 1/3 of a cup of water, and pour near the base of the plant. Adjust your watering amounts as the months change. One great thing about these plants is that the leaves are a big indication of when you need to water. If it’s time, the leaves will become droopy. See below for an example of the leaves drooping. You can also mist your plant occasional with warm water and clean the leaves with a damp cloth.
Can this plant make coffee beans?
If you are patient, eventually this plant can produce coffee beans. Learn more about Coffee Facts here…
It typically takes 6 years for the plant to begin to produce fruit (or beans). The coffee bean fruit appears in the summer. Once the green shaped fruit turns to a dark brown, black color, it is ripe enough to pick. Once you have harvested enough beans, you will then have to roast them. There are many home type roasters out there, check out your local retailers or search on the Internet for your most convenient option.
Reviving a dying Coffee Plant
If you recently bought a new small Coffee Plant from the local nursery / store and it looks to be dying after a month or having brown tips at the edge of the leaves, then you can revive it easily by following simple steps…
A tropical indoor plant, coffee appreciates abundant levels of relative humidity. If the air in your home is too dry, your coffee plant may end up with brown leaf tips or edges. Boost humidity to keep new leaves healthy.